Coronavirus: Prison inmates in West Bengal clash with guards after denied meeting with families

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Kolkata: Inmates clashed with guards at the Dumdum Correctional Home here Saturday, pelting stones and setting jail property on fire over the state government’s decision not to allow them to meet their families till March 31 due to coronavirus, officials said.

In the morning, some inmates insisted that they be released on parole but when the authorities refused to accept their demand, they launched a violent agitation, a top prison official said.

The stir soon turned into a clash between the inmates and the prison guards, he said.

RAF personnel and policemen managed to bring the situation under control after some time, the official said. Several fire tenders were pressed into service to bring the fires under control. No casualty has been reported so far, he said.

“The situation is under control. We are trying to identify the inmates behind the incident,” the official said.

A senior official of the West Bengal Correctional Services Department had said Friday that allowing inmates’ families to wait outside the prison was against the concept of social distancing, which is the key to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“Keeping this in mind, a decision was taken not to allow the meetings till March 31,” he said.

In view of the coronavirus outbreak, a family member of an inmate can now only call up the prison authorities to enquire about his or her health.

PTI

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