Raising a question mark over the security and vigilance inside the central jail here once again, an inmate committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan on Thursday morning.
The inmate, identified as Kuljit Singh, a resident of Madheke village in Moga district, hanged himself in the factory premises of the jail at about 9 am. The victim was undergoing 10-year imprisonment under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) after being nabbed by the Dialpura police with contraband in May 2011. The body was spotted by an employee of the jail who went for routine checking of the factory before the entry of inmates there.
Assistant jail superintendent Bhupinder Singh said that the victim had come out of his barrack at about 8:40 am and made an entry in the register at the gate of the ward comprising three barracks and mentioned that he was going to the canteen. However, instead of the canteen, he went to the factory.
"The factory officially starts at 9 am but it is opened at 8:30 am for cleaning purpose. An employee of the jail conducts a check of the factory premises daily before opening it for the day because the place is near the boundary wall from where someone outside can throw things inside the jail premises which might be picked by inmates if a thorough check is not done. The employee noticed the body," he said.
He said that the inmate was brought to the jail on August 1, 2014, and had also gone on a parole in February. "The man was undergoing stress due to regular ailment and severe backache. He was also admitted to the jail hospital and was undergoing treatment at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital in Faridkot," he said.
The alleged suicide is suspicious because the area around the factory is a busy thoroughfare. A judicial probe has been initiated into the incident by chief judicial magistrate, Vikrant Kumar.
Meanwhile, parents and other family members of the victim raised slogans against the jail administration at the civil hospital, where the body was taken for post-mortem, alleging that the administration didn't provide proper medical treatment to the victim due to which his condition had worsened.
The victim's father Chamkaur Singh said the jail administration didn't bother about the treatment of his son and there was a delay in providing treatment. The family alleged that the jail authorities removed the body even without waiting for them to arrive.
The Bathinda central jail came into limelight in April after notorious gangster Kulbir Naruana had opened fire on a member of a rival gang inside the jail. The judicial probe into the incident had found glaring mistakes in managing the jail and violation of the jail manual by the officials.