Twelve inmates of the Panchthar District Jail, saying that a probe committee formed in connection with financial irregularity involving the jail chief Renu Prasad Ojha did not submit its report in the stipulated deadline, have staged a fast-unto-death hunger strike starting from February 1.
The inmates joining the strike said they are forced to take the move again as attempts were made to give clean chit to the accused instead of making public the report of the probe committee.
Inmates including Sujan Thapa Magar of ItahariN.P.1, Dilip Khati of Budhabare VDC of Jhapa, Yubaraj Gurung of Banjho VDC of Ilam, Jas Bahadur Nemwang of Phaktep7 of Panchthar, Arjun Shrestha of Phidim1 among others have joined the strike.
Fifteen persons of the jail administration including Choukidar Harka Lawati and Naaike of the inmates had resigned en masse blaming the administration of not being concerned over the demands raised by the inmates on January 31. Blaming that the jail chief Ojha did not recommend to the inmates serving full jail term for their release had demanded that Ojha return Rs. 2, 50, 000 he had allegedly taken from different inmates with the assurance of releasing them. The agitating inmates had also demanded an immediate transfer of the jail chief during the first phase of hunger strike.
Earlier, inmates including Sujan Thapa Magar, Jas Bahadur Nemwang, Durga Rai had staged a fast-unto-death hunger strike for three days starting from January 10. The strike was called off after a five member of probe committee under the coordination of assistant CDO Laxmi Prasad Kharel to look into the inmates' charges that the jailer has been troubling them for no reason and seeking money to recommend their release was formed on January 13.
Saying that the probe committee could not submit its report due to obstruction created by the inmates, assistant CDO, Kharel said inmates act of staging the strike again is not reasonable at a time when necessary procedure for extension for the term of the probe committee as per consultation with the representative of the inmates was underway.