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Tihar Inmate Death: 5 Jail Personnel Including Deputy Superintendent Shifted to Prison HQ

The judge directed the DG, Prisons to look into the matter and apprise the court. (File photo: ANI)

The judge directed the DG, Prisons to look into the matter and apprise the court. (File photo: ANI)

Both the police and the jail officials are probing all the allegations levelled by the family of the deceased to ascertain the exact sequence of events that led to the incident, officials said.

Five Tihar Jail personnel, including a deputy superintendent, were shifted to the prison headquarters on Thursday after a 29-year-old inmate was found dead in his prison cell, officials said on Friday. A senior jail official said the five personnel have been shifted from Tihar's jail number 3 to the prison headquarters following an ongoing inquiry. Ankit Gujjar was found dead inside his cell while two of his former cellmates, who were lodged in an adjacent lockup, were found injured on Wednesday morning. The injured inmates, Gurjeet Singh (22) and his brother Gurpreet Singh (22), were taken to the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital here. They returned to jail on same day, officials said.

Gujjar, who belongs to Sunder Bhati gang, was arrested from Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida along with three others in connection with the murder of BJP leader Vijay Pandit in 2014, police had said. Pandit was shot dead by four persons, including Gujjar, in Dabri on the night of June 7, 2014, they had said. In a purported video, an inmate of Tihar Jail number 3, who was released recently, claimed that on August 3, the deputy superintendent had slapped Gujjar following an argument that broke out between them after a mobile phone was recovered from outside the deceased's cell. The gangster also reportedly slapped him back. Later, the official returned with around 35 other personnel and thrashed Gujjar for 30 minutes, the inmate who came out of the jail had claimed.

Both the police and the jail officials are probing all the allegations levelled by the family of the deceased to ascertain the exact sequence of events that led to the incident, officials said. The three inmates, including Gujjar, were lodged in the same cell till Tuesday night when they allegedly had a fight with the deputy superintendent. The jail staff then shifted Gujjar to another cell from where his body was recovered on Wednesday morning. In a separate inquiry being conducted by jail officials, they are probing the role of a deputy superintendent in connection with Gujjar's death as his family has alleged that he was beaten to death by some jail officials. Inquest proceedings are being conducted in the matter by the metropolitan magistrate. Action will be taken according to the inquest and the post-mortem report of Gujjar, officials said. Police had said they are also looking into allegations levelled by the victim's family accusing jail officials of demanding Rs 10,000 as "protection money" from him and later threatening him when he refused to pay.

According to police, they had received a complaint from the jail staff on duty at around 1.30 am that the three inmates had fought with the jail officials after a mobile phone was seized from outside their cell. On further checking, a mobile phone charger and an improvised knife was recovered from inside their cell. After the fight, Gujjar was shifted to a separate cell while the brother duo stayed back in the same cell. On Wednesday morning, Gujjar was found dead inside his cell and police were informed.

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first published:August 06, 2021, 22:06 IST