A murderous attack surprised nine members of the central prison staff, including the assistant jail superintendent, on Monday during the routine inspection of cells here.
Since the incident, seven prisoners are charged with making an attempt to murder, and Patiala deputy commissioner GK Singh has demanded a magisterial inquiry report within 15 days. It started around 8am, when the inmates of cell 20 declined to cooperate in the search.
Gangster Gurpreet Singh "Gopi" and other murder accused in a case share the cell for past many months. "Assistant jail superintendent Inderjit Singh Kahlon, who is also welfare officer of the Patiala jail, found a mobile-phone charger and battery inside this cell," said additional jail superintendent Rajan Kapur. "Kahlon asked Gopi and his men to clear the space for minute inspection and that's when it turned ugly," he added.
Gopi exchanged heated arguments with the welfare officer; and his group picked up iron rods from jail gymnasium and overpowered the inspection team, additional jail superintendent Kapur has said. "Murder convict Harwinder Singh (24), who was in the gymnasium, joined Gopi in hitting the jail personnel," he added.
The situation remained tense for about an hour until the additional force had arrived. Seven personnel received minor injuries; Kahlon hurt his wrist and shoulder; while constable Paramajit Singh had his arm swollen. The injured policemen are under treatment at the Government Rajindra Medical Hospital here.
Prisoners Gurpreet Singh "Gopi", Harwinder Singh, Kanwardeep Singh, Charanveer Singh, Pripal Singh, Ajaypal Singh and Gurpreet Singh were made accused in a case lodged at Tripari here under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (punishment for causing injuries voluntarily), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of duty), 186 (obstructing a public servant in discharge of public function) 148 (armed riot) and 149 (common intent in crime) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Accused Harwinder has record of creating nuisance in different jails. He was moved to Patiala from Sangrur after he assaulted the jail superintendent there two months ago and intimidated the prison staff.