Koraput: Hunger strike by the prisoners of Koraput district jail was called off late in the evening today with the intervention of the district administration.
All the 729 prisoners of the jail were on a hunger strike demanding transfer of the jail superintendent along with some other issues. The prisoners have alleged that the quality of rice used in the jail was sub standard and they were served only radish and potato in their meals while the district jail was producing many other vegetables, Niranjan Das, jailer of the district jail said. Speaking to Balakrushna Sahu, the district collector of Koraput and UR Rao, the SP of Koraput who had met the prisoners inside the jail, the prisoners had urged them to ensure better quality of food, to provide a telephone booth inside the jail premises for the prisoners and to give cash instead of biscuits. Apart from demanding basic amenities inside the jail they also demanded for granting parole to all the prisoners by giving relaxation in the existing norms and conditions. While the district collector had agreed to see that qualitative food with better rice and fresh vegetables was given in the prison, he however expressed his inability on solving other issues and hence assured the intimate their demands would be passed on to the higher authorities.
The situation turned tense as the prisoners looking at the failure of talks with the administration in the morning attempted to keep the staff members including the officials of the jail in their captivity. With the fear of getting assaulted by the prisoners no jail official dared to enter the jail premises the entire day, especially after the prisoners made an attempt to catch Mr Das, the jailer, while he was going on his regular rounds.
Moreover all the 729 prisoners attempted to break the main gate of the jail in the morning, Mr Das added. As a result a portion of the main gate and at some other places were damaged. Additional police force were deployed in the jail to avoid any untoward incident. While there were many instances where individual prisoners had gone on strike for meeting their personal demands, this was for the first time that such a unified strike was called by the prisoners in the district jail of Koraput.