Barui (32), who recently took to painting, set fire to a canvas and a stack of newspapers to immolate himself, said prison officials on Sunday. He was brought out of his cell and rushed to the prison hospital with minor burn injuries.
“He is suffering from depression. Recently, he has been trying to get his case back to a juvenile court so that the life sentence awarded to him is commuted. He is basically being treated for his depression. He had made attempts on his life on earlier occasions too,” Ranjit Mondal, Additional Inspector General (Prisons), told The Indian Express.
“We are conducting an inquiry into how he got the match box,” Mondal added. Recently, the jail authorities had held an exhibition of his paintings.
A resident of Dum Dum, Barui was convicted by the Calcutta High Court for murdering his father, stepmother and brother on the night of November 22, 1993. He was 15 at that time. He was initially lodged at the Dum Dum Central Jail and shifted to Midnapore Central Jail in July 2000.
In 2001, he claimed of suffering from a kidney ailment and was transferred to a Kolkata hospital from where he escaped on September 15 that year.
He soon got involved in criminal activities and in May 2003, he was arrested in connection with a case of robbery. But the police couldn’t recognise him and Barui introduced himself as Shaikh Raju. He was sent to Midnapore jail where his former jail mate recognised him and told the jail authorities that Raju was none other than Barui whom the police had been looking for.
After the jail authorities learnt of the matter, he was sent to Presidency Jail where he formed links with criminals and terrorists, including Aftab Ansari, a prime accused in the 2002 American Center attack. Soon after the nexus was discovered, Barui was shifted to Alipore Central Jail.