Violent protests at West Bengal's Jalpaiguri jail as inmates demand bail due to COVID-19 pandemic, throw stones

The Jalpaiguri correctional facility houses around 750 prisoners in eight wards and of them, 50-60 inmates are protesting, citing a Supreme Court directive, officials said.

Press Trust of India April 18, 2020 19:14:37 IST
Violent protests at West Bengal's Jalpaiguri jail as inmates demand bail due to COVID-19 pandemic, throw stones

Jalpaiguri: A section of inmates at the Jalpaiguri correctional home in West Bengal started violent protests on Saturday, demanding that they be granted bail in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said.

Violent protests at West Bengals Jalpaiguri jail as inmates demand bail due to COVID19 pandemic throw stones

Representational image. AFP

The correctional facility houses around 750 prisoners in eight wards and of them, 50-60 inmates are protesting, citing a Supreme Court directive, they said.

On 23 March, the Supreme Court had directed all states and Union Territories to constitute high-level committees to consider releasing on parole or interim bail prisoners and undertrials for offences entailing up to seven-year jail term to decongest prisons in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police personnel are trying to enter the main prison area, the gate of which has been shut by the inmates from inside, said Chief Disciplinary Officer Ashim Acharya. They are throwing stones from inside but no one has been injured till now, he said.

Jail authorities earlier tried to persuade the prisoners but they continued with the protests, officials said, adding that they have been provided masks and sanitisers. Officials said police personnel have been deployed along the periphery of the facility to prevent any attempts of jailbreak.

Around 2,000 undertrial prisoners and convicts have been released on bail and parole from various jails in the state, following the Supreme Court directive.

Last month, clashes broke out at the Dumdum Correctional Home near Kolkata over the state government's decision not to allow the inmates to meet their families due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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