200 prisoners in jail launch hunger strike

Kendrapara: Nearly 200 undertrial prisoners lodged in the local jail launched an indefinite hunger strike on Friday alleging poor standard of food and other related problems, prison officials said.

The inmates have also accused the jail officials of ill- treatment and beating up their colleagues in contravention of jail rules. Relatives of undertrial prisoners later sat on a dharna in front of the jail gate alleging high-handedness on the part of jail officials by denying them permission to meet their jailed near and dear ones.

Police deployment was beefed up around the prison to prevent any possible breach of law and order situation. "The hunger strike is the handiwork of some hardened criminals lodged in the jail. They had tried to break the discipline on several occasions. But strict supervision by jail staff stopped them from infringing the rules. That made them angry. Today`s agitation was stage-managed by them," Jail Superintendent Samir Ranjan Sahu said.