Varanasi Jail inmates held the prison superintendent hostage for six hours on Saturday following a clash with staff over several issues, including the "poor quality" of food served to them, reported PTI. He was freed after the district administration assured the prisoners that they will look into their allegations, reported Hindustan Times.
The deputy jailer was seriously injured in the riot and was taken to the hospital. At least a dozen other people, including prison guards, were also injured in the fight. The inmates had taken control of a section of the prison barracks, where they were holding the jail superintendent Ashish Tiwari captive. The inmates also snatched weapons of the guards and several shots were heard from inside the jail. “Extremely poor quality of food is served to us. Besides, we often have to face the wrath of jail officials. On Saturday, one of the inmates was badly beaten up as he got a little late to reach to the queue for counting [sic],” an inmate said, according to HT.District Magistrate Raj Mani Yadav and senior prison department officials reached the jail to deal with the situation, and a team of National Disaster Response Force personnel was also dispatched. “Allegations by inmates are wrong. I have been informed that senior administrative officials along with heavy police force are present in the jail. Situation is under control. But there has been some trouble in the morning [sic],” deputy inspector general of jail (Allahabad region) Santosh Srivastava, who is on his way to Varanasi, said. The district jail has a capacity of 845 inmates but around 1,600 inmates are lodged in it.