Once a dreaded Maoist leader carrying a cash reward of Rs five lakh on his head, the jailed Palamu MP Kameshwar Baitha was badly thrashed by a rival group of prisoners inside Garhwa district jail, about 250 km north west from the state capital, on Saturday evening.
Baitha and two other inmates received serious injuries during the group clash.
Baitha hit the national headlines in May 2009 when he won the Lok Sabha election from Palamu constituency as Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidate while remaining in Sasaram (Bihar) district jail.
The violent altercation took place inside the jail around 6 pm on Saturday after Baitha, according to police; beat up two young inmates- Amit and Krishna- accusing them of stealing some cash from his special cell. Amit and Krishna, who are booked in different criminal cases, used to cook food for Baitha inside the jail.
Police said, following thrashing of the two inmates by Baitha, a strong group of inmates got united and badly thrashed the JMM MP after pulling out him from his special cell.
Baitha received injuries in his back and on of the legs. He was treated at the Jail hospital. The violent scuffle was controlled after jail police came into action and controlled the warring groups, police said.
The Garhwa Civil Sub divisional officer (SDO) later visited the jail to take stock of the situation.
Police said, Baitha assured the SDO that he would not indulge in any kind of violence in future.
Baitha, who is currently facing altogether 46 criminal cases ranging from murder and extortion to carrying out explosive acts in Jharkhand, Bihar and Utter Pradesh; was brought to Garhwa jail on August 1 from Sasaram (Bihar) jail. At present, there are eight cases pending in Garhwa court against the jailed MP.
Once known as terror in three states, Baitha was arrested by a special task force of police near Patna in May 2005. At the time of his arrest, he was carrying a reward of Rs five lakh against his head.
He is accused of killing several policemen in a landmine blast triggered on the Bihar-Jharkhand border in 2002. Police records show that Baitha had been an active Maoist since 1984 - and his mastery of explosives and mines meant that he rose rapidly to the rank of zonal commander.