4 being treated in hospital; authorities have ruled out a gang war, say it could have occurred due to overcrowding
Four inmates of the Arthur Road jail were seriously injured after around 13 under trails clashed in the overcrowded prison yesterday morning. A scuffle broke out between two groups, who used sharpened pieces of metallic sheets and edges of their plates as weapons to attack each other.
The incident occurred in Circle 7 of the Arthur Road Jail
However, jail authorities have ruled out the incident being the result of a gangwar, claiming instead that it happened suddenly and probably because of overcrowding in the jail. In connection with the incident, Jail officials lodged cases of rioting against the 13 members at the NM Joshi Marg police station.
A jail official said the incident took place around 8.40 am in circle number 7. “Jail security officials saw people in two groups assaulting each other. The personnel immediately intervened and tried to control the inmates but by then, the undertrials became aggressive and jail officials had to use minimal force to bring the situation under control,” said Swati Sathe deputy inspector general (west region prisons) currently handling the additional charge of south region prisons.
The inmates used ‘Kapri’, a sharp weapon made from the Aluminium food plates, and pieces of metallic sheets – used to cover windows, doors, etc – with sharpened edges to attack each other. In the clash, four of them sustained serious injuries and have been admitted at the JJ hospital, DIG said.
The injured inmates have been identified as Vishal Aamkar (31) (arrested in a murder case of Wadala TT police), Murugan Mani Nadar (52), (arrested in a theft case of in Khar police), Mohammed Mudassar Ismail Ansari (30) (arrested in a robbery case of Agripada police) and Santosh Bhikaji Parab. Ansari has a head injury and he is alleged to have another self-inflicted injury on his wrist.
Fight on CCTV
“We have recorded statements of over 50 people, including under trials who were involved in the clash, few who witnessed the incident and jail security personnel,” said DIG Sathe. Jail officials claim that the entire fight has been recorded as the place where incident took place has CCTV camera. NM Joshi police will access the footage.
Police have registered a cross rioting case against 13 under trials, which includes injured four, and Mohammed Zakir Khan, Sachin Kanse, Raja Rajan Nair, Sunil Nigori, Ashokkumar Kevat, Gopal Shetty, Sarvar Khan, Suleman Patel and Arman Khan.
Sathe said that the exact reason behind the clash is being investigated. Investigators are also probing a possible angle of any heated argument between the inmates during breakfast, which could have triggered the fight. “Overcrowding could also be a reason behind that clash as the Circle 7, where incident took place, alone houses 900 undertrials,” Sathe said.
Filled to the brim
Housing over 3,000 under trials against the capacity of just 800, Arthur Road jail is considered as one of the most notorious prisons in the country, housing dreaded criminals, underworld dons and terror suspects. Among the high-profile inmates is senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal.
>> Muddasar Ismail Ansari (33) has sustained deep cuts on the parietal region of his head, right wrist and left leg. He has abrasions on his left hand and multiple bruises on the left arm and on the back. He has tenderness in his left wrist, index finger and thumb.
>> Murugan Mani Nadar (52) has sustained deep cuts on his chest, lower lip and right hand.
>> Vishal Amkar (34) has deep cuts on his forehead and on the right side of his face, chest, left arm and the midaxillary region of his body. He has abrasions on his left leg and the nape of neck.
>> Santosh Bhikaji Parab has contusions on his legs and cuts on scalp.
According to cops present at the spot, the injured inmates are receiving treatment in ward 44. Two prisoners were brought to the hospital in the late afternoon and two others, later in the evening.
- Inputs by Rupsa Chakraborty