TT, Siliguri, May 4: The number of policemen was doubled at the prisoners’ cell of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital here from today after a prisoner killed another inmate yesterday.
Manoj Verma, the commissioner of Siliguri metropolitan police, said: “We have increased the number of police officers at the cell from four to eight. An inquiry has been initiated to find out what the four policemen who were on duty yesterday, were doing when the incident happened.”
Yesterday, Nikhil Roy, 50, a murder accused from Dhupguri, killed Upen Barman, 72, an activist of the Greater Cooch Behar Peoples’ Association, by hitting him on the head with an iron stand used to hang saline packets.
Verma said today that Nikhil was in judicial custody in connection with the previous murder and a petition had been put up at the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Siliguri today, seeking permission to take Nikhil into police custody.
“Reports of the incident have also been sent to the state and national human rights commissions,” Verma added.
According to Verma, the security has been beefed up on the NBMCH premises after the incident and around 60 policemen are currently posted.
According to police sources, two assistant inspectors of police and six constables have been put on duty at the prisoners’ cell.
“At present, Nikhil is alone in the cell but if another prisoner is brought here, then any three of the eight policemen will have to stay inside the cell to guard them round-the-clock,” a police officer said.
“The four-bed prisoners’ cell is too small to accommodate four prisoners. So, we had formulated a proposal to set up a separate facility in the hospital to admit prisoners for treatment. The proposal with a estimate of around Rs 1.57 crore was sent to the state PWD few months ago,” said Samir Ghosh Roy, the NBMCH principal.