Nightlong Riots Rock Central Jail, Probe Ordered 

SRINAGAR — Two inmates were injured and some barracks burnt after clashes broke out between inmates and the staff at Central Jail Srinagar.

The prisoners went on a rampage against the move to shift them within the prison facility for renovation of some barracks, PTI, quoting police, reported.

Trouble started Thursday night as the inmates resisted the prison authorities’ move to shift them from two barracks.  They apprehended that they would be shifted to jails outside the Valley, a police official said.

He said the inmates went on a rampage setting on fire gas cylinders and vandalising jail property. At least two barracks and jail mess were set on fire. The police and other government forces personnel were rushed to spot and help the jail authorities bring the situation under control.

A local news agency CNS said more than 400 inmates from 10 barracks in the central area of jail broke open the internal gates and gathered to carry out damage to the entry/exit points in an attempt to escape. 

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Choudhary and Sr Superintendent of Police Haseeb Mughal rushed to the spot and reviewed the situation at 9 p.m. on Thursday.  

The inmates gathered LPG cylinders from the common mess and triggered 4 blasts near the gate and corners of walls in an apparent attempt to break the security grid and escape, the CNS reported.

Early morning, the authorities constituted a dozen odd teams to move inside which included police personnel, CRPF component, jail staff and magistrates. Later, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Choudhary held detailed deliberations with the representatives of inmates over a host of issues. The DIG Central Kashmir, DIG CRPF, SSP Srinagar and other senior officers were also present, the news agency said.

After detailed deliberations the inmates were moved to barracks and discussion held with all concerned. In view of massive damages to Government property an inter-departmental team comprised of PWD, PHE and PDD was deputed by the district administration for loss assessment and restoration work.

A spokesperson of the administration stated that some pictures were being circulated in social media indicating an alleged desecration of holy Quran inside Central Jail. “However fact of the matter remains that during entire night no security personnel, or officials, moved inside the barrack premises and all the issues raised by the inmates are being ascertained,” the news agency quoting the official spokesperson said. 

A probe is being conducted into the matter by Deputy Commissioner Srinagar who interacted with inmates at Central Jail also inspected the damages done to Jail infrastructure, apart from ascertain the sequel of events leading to this incident. 

Meanwhile, the news agency said that police have lodged an FIR into the incident while Government “is further examining the matter”. 

The authorities on Friday imposed restrictions in few areas in the old city besides disallowing the congregational Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who delivers the Friday sermons at the Jamia Masjid, has been placed under house arrest at his residence in Nigeen on the outskirts of the city. (With inputs from PTI and CNS) 

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