Prisoners resort to fast
Berhampur: Five undertrial prisoners, including three women, housed
in special sub-jail, Bhanjanagar, in Ganjam district allegedly involved
in Maoist activities launched hunger strike from Friday. The inmates are
demanding faster trial of their cases or release on bail. They also
sought political prisoner status.
The five are identified as Kandra Dalabehera, Kadam Bajali, Telem Soni, Malati Majhi and K Anita, official sources said.
All of them are languishing in the jail for over four years, the
sources said. The trial is slow as witnesses, mainly the police
officers, are not turning up. Around eight to 12 cases are pending
against each, the sources said.
They skipped their breakfast and lunch. “We are trying to convince them
to take food,” said superintendent-cum-jailer U K Mohapatra. He said
their grievances are intimated to the local court.
Most of the striking prisoners were lodged in Bhanajangar sub-jail
after being shifted from Berhampur circle jail, the sources said. On May
6 last year, they had also resorted to hunger strike in the sub-jail.
They had called off the fast after three days when authorities assured
to fulfil their demands, the sources added.
Narendra Mohanty and Biswapriya Kannungo, the convener and the adviser
of the NGO ‘Campaigning Against Fabricated Cases’, Odisha, have extended
their solidarity to the striking undertrials. They demanded the fives’