Prison rules may nip Jagan Mohan Reddy's fast in the bud

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Hyderabad: YSR Congress president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who began his indefinite hunger strike on Sunday in Chanchalguda Jail, is likely to face serious action under the Prison Act. The Prison Act and Rules says that a prisoner can be force-fed and if he commits the offence again, he can be prosecuted and punishment can amount to a year’s imprisonment.
Chanchalaguda jail superintendent K. Saidaiah confirmed that Jagan Mohan Reddy refused to take any food since morning and said that he would be dealt with according to prison rules.
The Central Industrial Security Force has been deployed outside the jail to prevent protests by YSRC activists and counter-protests by Telangana protagonists.
A jail official who does not want to be named, said Jagan Mohan Reddy had refused to eat any food throughout the day. “He gave us several reasons orally for not taking food. But he refused to give a written application on what ground he is going on strike. He will be dealt with according to Sections 302 and 593 of the AP Prison Rules 1979 and Sections 52 and 46 of the AP Prison Act 1894.”
A jail doctor checked the health condition of Jagan Mohan Reddy.
In earlier cases, when arrested Maoists went on mass hunger strikes, the prosecution sections were not invoked and only ordinary punishments like penal diet and cutting down facilities were imposed.
A jail official said, “As per Section 593, it is the duty of the prison authorities to do what they reasonably can to keep up the health of the prisoner.”
Jagan could be fed by force
Speaking on the option of YSR Congress president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy being force-fed after he began his indefinite hunger strike at the Chanchalguda jail, a jail official said, “In hunger strike, a prisoner is likely to cause his own death, and the medical officer at his discretion can direct that the prisoner be forcibly fed if it is the only option to keep him alive. Forcible feeding shall not be with violence.”
On Monday, jail officials will warn Jagan that as per Section 302 (treatment of hunger strikes) no redress of any alleged grievance will be allowed as long as the strike continues and he is liable to any prison punishment under Section 52 of the Prison Act. The Section also says that after sufficient warning, the prisoner can be prosecuted under this Act.
The proceedings have to be held within the prison with no delay.

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