Two undertrials locked in a battle for supremacy were killed in a clash in the Tihar jail on Wednesday afternoon, once again bringing into focus inadequate security at the country’s biggest prison.
Ishwar alias Sippy, being tried for attempt to murder, multiple cases of snatching and robbery, and Anil Choudhary, another notorious criminal charged with at least four robberies, had a long-standing rivalry that took a deadly turn on Wednesday, police said.
A jail official and several prisoners were also injured in the violence that comes barely a month after two rival gang leaders were killed in a moving police van.
“Ishwar was returning from an eye camp in Jail 1 when he was attacked by Anil with a sharp piece of metal that he may have broken off from a window grill or exhaust fan,” DIG, prisons, Mukesh Prasad said.
As Ishwar walked towards his cell, Choudhary and his two aides, Vasu and Sandeep, lodged in a separate area, pushed the jail warden, got out of the ward and pounced on him.
Hurling abuses at Ishwar, Choudhary slashed his neck and chest with a sharp metallic strip while his aides attacked him with bricks, police said.
Ishwar fell unconscious near the jail dispensary, but three of his men who were with him caught hold of Choudhary and kicked him to the ground.
Choudhary’s men rushed to his aid and it was free for all for some minutes, forcing jail officers to seek reinforcements to quell the violence.
Ishwar was rushed to the nearby Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, where he was declared dead. Choudhary, who suffered internal injuries, too, was later brought to DDU hospital from the jail dispensary but died of his wounds late in the evening.
Deputy superintendent of jail 1 Vinay Thakkar, who was injured while trying to get Anil off Ishwar, was discharged after first aid.
Ishwar, had been in and out of prison several times since 2007, while Choudhary has been lodged in Tihar since 2012.
Initial investigation had revealed that Choudhary and his men were beaten up by Ishwar a year ago and he wanted to avenge the “insult”, joint commissioner of police(southwestern) range Deependra Pathak said. A case of murder has been registered.