Police were deployed in large numbers inside the high security c on Sunday after big ticket rioting by prisoners and subsequent police firing left several injured.
“The Sitamarhi subdivisional officer and deputy SP (sadar) are camping in the jail. The situation is tense but under control,” Tirhut zone inspector general (IG) of police Paras Nath told HT, Sunday afternoon.
Nath denied it was an attempted jail break. “It is a group clash between supporters of two notorious under trial criminals, triggered by the move to shift them to jails in Gaya and Buxar,” he said.
IG (Prisons) Prem Singh Meena confirmed firing by the police to bring the situation under control. “Two inmates received bullet injuries. They are undergoing treatment at SKMCH, Muzaffarpur,” he said.
A committee headed by DIG (Tirhut range) Ajay Kumar Mishra has been asked to probe the matter. “Stern action will be taken against the culprits”, said Meena.
Trouble started Saturday evening, when under trials Santosh Jha and Madhav Chaudhury, facing murder, kidnapping and extortion cases, were being taken out for being moved to Gaya and Buxar, respectively.
The supporters of these prisoners initially fought pitched battle with each other, leaving many injured. Rejecting attempts by jail and civil officials to pacify them, they went on the rampage.
“The rioters set the jail hospital of fire and broke the internal gate to reach the outer gate of the prison, forcing police to open fire to restrain the rioters. Two prisoners were injured in the firing” said an official.
This infuriated the inmates, who reportedly started pelting stones on the police personnel and even smashed the wind screen of the official vehicle of Sitamarhi superintendent of police (SP), Naval Kishore Singh.
Two police personnel, including a sub inspector of district police, were injured in the incident.
Later, the two inmates, who received bullet injuries, were referred to Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) at Muzaffarpur, where their condition was stated to be stable.
District magistrate Pratima S Verma refused to say anything about the incident. SP Naval Kishore Singh did not take calls made to his official mobile number.
However, IG Paras Nath told HT that the rioting ring leaders had been identified and investigation was underway to identify the rest of the trouble causers.
“We are facing some difficulty in identifying the hooligans as no CCTV footage of the incident is available”, said Nath.
Official sources confirmed despite protest by their supporters, the authorities had gone ahead with their decision and moved Santosh Jha and Madhav Chaudhury to Buxar and Gaya central jails, respectively.