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Tihar inmate dies of heart ailment, family cries foul

A 37-year-old prisoner died under mysterious circumstances at Tihar Jail on Friday afternoon. According to the police, the deceased has been identified as Sirajuddin. He was serving punishment for a murder case since 2009. Senior officials of the Tihar Jail maintained that Sirajjudin died due to cardiac arrest following a heart ailment. However, his family members staged a protest near the Welcome police station, alleging foulplay.

“On October 21, at around 12 noon, the Superintendent of Jail 8/9 got to know that one Sirajjudin, life convict, serving punishment in a murder case of Welcome police station, died. He was lodged in Central Jail no 9 and was suffering from diabetes and heart disease. Local police had been informed and magisterial inquiry has been initiated,” said Mukesh Prasad, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Delhi Prisons.

Another senior officer from Tihar said that Sirajjudin has been suffering from a heart ailment from a long time. It was only on Friday afternoon when a warder at Jail no 9, on his daily round, entered Sirajjudin’s cell and found him lying motionless on his bed that he informed the Superintendent.

Police said that the body of the 37-year-old life convict was sent for post-mortem to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, family members of Sirajjudin alleged that police are trying to hide the exact reason of his death from them since they did not hand over his body to the family after the initial post-mortem.

One of Sirrajuddin’s relative alleged that it was only later on Friday evening they got a call from the Tihar Jail authorities that Sirrajuddin has died due to natural reasons. Raising question on why is there a need to hold a magisterial inquiry, the relative said: “Something is definitely wrong. Firstly, we were informed late about Sirajjudin’s death and secondly, the jail authorities has not handed over his body to us.”

A day after Sirajjudin’s death, family members and locals of the Janta Colony where the 37-year-old prisoner lived with the family, blocked the main road in Welcome area and staged a protest on Saturday. Later in the evening, senior Delhi Police officials of the North-east district intervened and pacified the crowd.
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