Sultanpur: Vijay Pasi, 20, and Manoj Raidas, 19, — the two undertrial prisoners found dead under mysterious circumstances in Sultanpur prison on June 21, 2023 — were murdered, as per the report of a magisterial probe.
Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Sapna Tripathi’s 24-page investigation report confirms the deaths as murders and holds the then jail administration responsible for the incident.
The investigation revealed that both the prisoners had died before their bodies were found on June 21.
However, the jail administration concealed this fact and failed to initiate any investigation. The report further states that forceful hanging was the cause of death, and deceased Vijay sustained 13 injuries on his body.
The nails on their feet and hands were found to have turned blue, possibly due to poison. Besides, the CCTV footage from June 19-21 was found missing, further casting doubts on the role of jail officials.
Vijay Pasi and Manoj Raidas, residents of Lorikpur under Jamo police station area of Amethi district, were arrested on May 26, 2023, on the charges of murder of poultry farm operator Om Prakash Yadav.
On May 30, they were lodged in barrack number 19 of the Sultanpur jail.
On June 21, the bodies of them both were found hanging from a single bedsheet in the garden of the jail complex.
Police called it a suicide in the initial investigation. On the demand of the family members, the district judge made CJM Sapna Tripathi the investigating officer and asked for the report.
On June 28, Sultanpur district jail head warders Dheeraj Chaubey and Chandrashekhar were suspended. The decision of suspension was taken based on a report prepared by the jail officials.
The then Jail Superintendent Umesh Kumar Singh, who is now posted in Varanasi, said that at the time of the incident, all the members of Forensic Science Laboratory, dog squad and other officials had made a visit, but nothing like this cropped up.
Sultanpur District Magistrate Krittika Jyotsna said that she had received the report from the CJM about the undertrials and was in touch with the Jail Superintendent. She added that she will take action accordingly.
Director General of Prisons, S.N. Sabat, said that they are yet to receive an official report but will act based on its recommendation.