Coronavirus clampdown sparks prison riot in Dum Dum central jail in Kolkata
The prisoners alleged that neither were they being produced in court nor were they being allowed to meet their family members because of restrictions for coronavirus.Updated: Mar 21, 2020 16:32 IST
Clashes broke out in the Dum Dum central jail in the northern fringes of Kolkata on Saturday after prisoners attacked jail officials with bricks, ransacked furniture and set fire in some places alleging that neither were they being produced in court nor were they being allowed to meet their family members.
A senior police officer who didn’t wish to be named said that tear gas shells had to be fired to bring situation under control. Some persons were seriously injured in the clash.
“Because of coronavirus outbreak courts are closed and family members are not being allowed inside the prisons as a precautionary measure. The inmates want that they should be released and have resorted to violence. We are looking into the matter,” said Ujjwal Biswas, correctional home minister of West Bengal.
The prison inmates had also demanded masks and sanitisers because of coronavirus.
The clashes broke out around 12 noon. A large contingent of police, Rapid Action Force personnel and fire brigade tenders were rushed to the prison. Senior jail officials, police officers and the state fire minister Sujit Bose rushed to the spot.
Locals said that they saw smoke billowing out of the jail and even heard sounds of gunfire but the police are yet to confirm whether any shots were fired.
“Fire tenders are working. Not all places could be accessed. We are trying to bring situation under control,” said Sujit Bose, state fire minister.
Kolkata has recorded three positive cases of coronavirus so far. Two of them had returned from London, one from Scotland.