Various reports have claimed that Mangaluru jail has turned a heaven for practising rowdies. There is a mini underworld which demands and collects hafta (money) from the 'profile' convicts. Prisoners have to give hafta from thousands to lakhs to these established rowdies inside the jail, says a report in One India Kannada.
The report has come out after the two accused in the high-profile murder case of Bhaskar Shetty were beaten up inside the Mangalore jail. It was said that in the B Barrack of the jail, inmates demanded a hefty hafta and asked the accused to confess to the crime. Bhaskar Shetty's wife, son and a priest are charged with his murder. Accused Niranjan and Navaneeth Shetty were asked to pay Rs 5 lakh as hafta. When they refused, the duo was attacked with steel drums and steel rods inside the jail.
One India reported that some days ago, an undertrial from Bantwal, Taranath was asked to pay Rs 50,000. When he refused to budge, he was attacked by lethal weapons. Where do the rowdies lodged inside the jail get lethal weapons?
It is said that many inmates come to the support of these rowdies as the hafta is collected for their protection.
Protection of inmates against the inmates or the police? However, though these reports are making news, no action in this regard is taken by the Mangalore police or jail authorities. This might be the biggest reason why they dare demanding hafta and keep the lethal weapons ready to attack those who are being tried by the law.
It is also said that deaths have been reported from both A and B barracks of the jail. But the reason given is ill-health. However, there is a demand to conduct an enquiry into the deaths inside the jail, especially following reports of an attack on inmates through lethal weapons.