A video of inmates in Unnao jail holding pistols and threatening the Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has gone viral, prompting the home department to order an inquiry into four police officials.
The video showed inmate Dev Pratap Singh brandishing a pistol. After reciting poetry on camera, he said, “I am Dev Pratap Singh, also known as Gaurav Pratap Singh.” Asked about his imprisonment, Singh said: “Jails are our offices.”
Another inmate, Ankur, also holding a pistol, said: “Anyone can be killed in the jail. If the order is issued, anyone can be killed outside too. Whether in Unnao or Meerut [jails]. This name [Ankur] is a brand.”
An inmate who identified himself as Amrish Bhatipura said that the Adityanath government had jailed him but had been unable to make his life miserable either in Unnao jail or in Meerut. “We will turn this place into an office,” he added. He also showed a pouch he was carrying, which appeared to be drugs. The video also showed inmates discussing drinking liquor.
Uttar Pradesh Home Department officials, however, claimed that the pistols seen in the video were made of clay, the Hindustan Times reported on Thursday. However, they could not deny the presence of a mobile phone inside the jail.
“A report on the incident has been sent to higher officials, strict action will be taken within one or two days,” Jail Superintendent AK Singh told ANI on Thursday.
Arvind Kumar, principal secretary, home and prison departments, said that the video had been shot during the winter season. He added that four jail staff made the video. These were head wardens Mata Prasad and Hemraj and ward boys Awadesh Sahu and Saleem Khan. A departmental inquiry was ordered against the four suspects and their services may be terminated, Kumar added.
The principal secretary also said that a mobile phone was recovered from the jail premises in March. He said the video was shot on the same mobile phone and made viral three months later.
Jail Minister Jai Kumar Singh Jaiki said that the four jail officials had been transferred, and the inmates seen in the video would also be transferred, ANI reported. He added that Deputy Inspector General (Lucknow Range) Rakesh Shanker has been tasked with the investigation.
Uttar Pradesh minister Siddharth Nath Singh said the government had taken cognisance of the video and strict action would be taken against the culprits. “In days to come you will see no such small incidents will exist as nobody is allowed to take law in their hands in Yogi Raj,” he added.