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Pak prisoner’s murder: Probe reveals manual wasn’t followed in central jail

The brawl inside the Jaipur central jail, in which 45-year-old Pakistani prisoner Shakir was killed, could have been averted if the jail authorities had taken precaution and followed the jail manual.

jaipur Updated: Feb 24, 2019 20:19 IST
Jaykishan Sharma
Jaykishan Sharma
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Pak prisoner,murder,Probe
The brawl inside the Jaipur central jail, in which 45-year-old Pakistani prisoner Shakir was killed, could have been averted if the jail authorities had taken precaution and followed the jail manual. (PTI)

The brawl inside the Jaipur central jail, in which 45-year-old Pakistani prisoner Shakir was killed, could have been averted if the jail authorities had taken precaution and followed the jail manual.

In the inquiry conducted so far, three shortcomings by the jail administration have surfaced, said an official who requested anonymity.

According to the inquiry, it has been found that Ajeet Jat, Manoj Pratap Singh, Kulwinder Gurjar and Bhajan Meena, the accused in the case, had entered the cell number 10 of ward number 58, which is also called TV cell, between 11.30am and noon on the day of the incident.

“As per the jail manual, every inmate should be inside their cells before 11am. It is duty of the warden and other supervisory officers to ensure that every cell should be locked on time and re-opened at 3pm. But here the question is how they entered the cell between 11.30am and noon? It means the jail staff didn’t adhere to the rules of jail,” the official said.

A ward is also called cell-block. Ward number 58, where the incident took place, is a high-security ward where hardcore criminals are kept. It has around 65 cells. As per the jail schedule, the jail is opened around 7am for four hours, which means an inmate comes out of his or her ward. In these four hours, they take bath, have breakfast, interact with other people, buy something from canteen and do other works. At 11am, the jail gets closed, which means the inmates go to their wards, and again it is reopened at 3pm.

The second shortcoming which has come to the fore is that nine hardcore criminals had gathered inside the TV cell. “The general instruction passed to jail staff is that not more than four inmates should assemble in a cell or a cell block,” said Radhakant Saxena, former inspector general, Jaipur jail. But here nine hardcore criminals were sitting inside the TV cell of high-security ward.

According to the FIR, around 1.25 pm on February 20 warden Ramswaroop heard a loud voice of someone shouting from the cell number 10 where nine inmates — Shakir Ullah alias Mohammad Hanif, Ajeet, Manoj Pratap Singh, Bhajan Meena, Kulwinder Singh alias Kullu, Hazi Khan, Mahesh Lota, Nandlal and Mallaki — were watching TV.

Few minutes later warden Ramswaroop reached the door of the cell where four inmates — Hazi Khan, Mahesh, Mallaki and Nandlal — told him that Ajeet, Manoj Pratap Singh, Kulwinder Gurjar and Bhajan Meena had a brawl with Shakir Ullah while they were watching a television channel. Ullah was hit by a marble slab after which he fell unconscious and died within minutes.

Another point of negligence from the jail staff was that they didn’t remove the marble stone slab using which Shakir Ullah was killed. Commissioner of city police Anand Srivastava said, “The marble slab was kept on a raised platform made up of bricks where earlier an old model TV was placed. But recently, the old model was removed and a wall-mounted TV was placed inside the cell.”

When reached for comments on these revelations, IG (prisons) Rupinder Singh said, “The investigation is on. We have received some input and we are trying to ascertain them.”

Singh is conducting the inquiry into the matter.

Ajeet, a resident of Jaipur, is serving a life term for raping a Japanese tourist in 2015. Gujjar, a resident of Jaipur, is charged with murder. Singh, who hails from Maharajpur district of Uttar Pradesh, is on death row for the 2013 rape-and-murder of a child. Meena, a resident of Karauli in Rajasthan, is also on death row for murder, and is facing trial in three other counts of murder. All of them were booked under section 34 (act done by several persons) and 302 (murder) of Indian Penal Code.

The deceased Ullah, also known as Mohammad Hanif, hailed from Sialkot in Pakistan and was arrested by Jaipur anti-terror squad (ATS) from a jail in Ferozpur. ATS intercepted his phone calls to some locals in Jhalawar in south-east Rajasthan while coordinating LeT terror activities in the region, an officer of the ATS said, requesting anonymity.

On December 6, 2017, he was found guilty of recruiting for LeT, sending the recruits for training to Pakistan and arranging funds for terror activities. Seven other persons were also convicted with him.

Two of those convicted, Asgar Ali and Mohammad Iqbal, are Pakistani nationals and lodged at Jaipur’s Central Jail. The other convicted in the case are all Indians. There were six Pakistanis in the jail, including Ullah, said prison officials.

First Published: Feb 24, 2019 20:16 IST