A week after a 29-year-old inmate was found dead in his cell in Tihar jail here, the prison deputy superintendent was booked for murder on Tuesday and suspended along with three other jail officials for alleged negligence, officials said. The development comes after a city court directed the Delhi Police to register an FIR and investigate the death of gangster Ankit Gujjar, an under-trial prisoner, inside the Tihar jail complex.
Gujjar was found dead inside his cell while two of his former cellmates, who were lodged in an adjacent lockup, were found injured on August 4. Gujjar’s autopsy report stated that multiple injuries were found on his body and the cause of death was “haemorrhage consequent upon only cumulative effect of multiple blunt force injuries sustained to the body”, the police said.
The prison authorities said four jail officials — including Deputy Superintendent of Tihar Jail Narender Meena, two assistant superintendents and a warder were suspended for their alleged negligence.
Sandeep Goel, Director General (Delhi Prisons) said, “Based on the findings of our ongoing internal inquiry, four jail officials were suspended for negligence in the matter.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Urvija Goel said, “Based on the post-mortem report and as per the directions of court, a case was registered under Section 302 (punishment for murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code on Monday night at Hari Nagar police station.”
Meena has been named in the FIR while names of others involved in the incident will be added based on further findings of the investigation, the officer said.
Gujjar’s family has alleged that some jail officials, including Meena, were harassing and threatening him to pay Rs 1 lakh as “protection money”. While Gujjar paid them Rs 50,000, he refused to pay the remaining amount.
According to a complaint lodged by Gujjar’s mother Geeta Devi, Meena and other jail officials thrashed her son to death for not paying the remaining “protection money” of Rs 50,000.
Both police and jail officials are probing all the allegations levelled by Gujjar’s family, the officials said. On August 5, five Tihar Jail officials, including the deputy superintendent, were shifted from Jail number 3 to the prison headquarters.
Gujjar, who belongs to the 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, according to the police. Pandit was shot dead by four people, including Gujjar, in Dabri on the night of June 7, 2014, the police said.