Convict who attacked Sanaullah was his friend

Vinod Kumar, the convict who attacked Sanaullah Ranjay at the Kot Bhalwal jail here on May 3, was known to be his friend. The two were often seen together working in the jail kitchen or lawns, during meal times or even sharing a smoke, said jail officials.

In fact, just before the attack, Sanaullah and Kumar had shared a beedi, recalled a jail official. The two convicts were part of a group of prisoners working outside. Sanaullah asked Kumar for a beedi, and the latter asked him to take it out from his pocket as his hands were dirty, said DG, Prisons, K Rajendra. The two convicts then shared the beedi.

A little later, while Kumar was digging the ground with a shovel, Sanaullah reportedly brought up the issue of Sarabjit Singh, who had died in Pakistan the previous day. Kumar then attacked Sanaullah on the head with the shovel, said Rajendra.

Kumar, an ex-serviceman from Uttarakhand who was earlier with 15 Garhwal Rifles, is serving life term for gunning down a colleague following a brawl in Leh in 2006. He was sent to Kot Bhalwal jail in 2009. He was today booked for the murder of Sanaullah also.

Kumar's wife and two children live in Seeku village in Uttarakhand. While he was earlier set to be shifted to a jail closer home, he will now have to face trial here for Sanaullah's death. The Jammu and Kashmir police have already sought his custody from the prisons department.

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