Minister for Home Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said here on Tuesday that security at the Kozhikode district jail and other prisons would be strengthened in the wake of reports that the accused in the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case had broken prison rules and used mobile phones and other facilities. Rules regarding visitors would be strictly enforced, he said.
Addressing a press conference, the Minister said the Kasaba police (Kozhikode) had registered a case pertaining to alleged illegal activities by remand prisoners and the Kozhikode city police were directly inquiring into the matter. Details of all phone calls made by the prisoners would be obtained. Two mobile phones had been recovered from the jail premises.
The Minister said investigations had shown that the prisoners used the phones from behind curtains that were made using clothes brought into the jail against rules. All clothes in excess of that permitted by the jail rules had been removed to the welfare officers’ room. A net would be installed at the location where outsiders are suspected to have thrown in mobile phones and other materials into the jail. Besides, closed circuit television cameras would be installed at the spot to conduct surveillance.
The Minister said the police would also look into the visit of K.K. Lathika, MLA, to the jail immediately after reports about the use of mobile phones by prisoners were telecast by a television channel. Identity cards would be mandatory for all visitors. While the rights of prisoners would be protected, no illegal activities would be allowed in jails, Mr. Radhakrishnan said.
He said the recommendations of a high-level committee that looked into jail security following a jail break at the Central Jail here were being implemented. Further measures would be taken on the basis of the probe into breach of rules in Kozhikode jail.
The Minister declined to comment on criticism against him raised by K. Sudhakaran, MP.
Replying to questions, the Minister said his department had handled the Opposition agitations effectively. The attack on the Chief Minister in Kannur was an isolated incident. The department had ensured proper protection at other mass contact programmes of the Chief Minister.
He said the Cabinet decision to introduce metropolitan police system in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi had been kept in abeyance in view of concerns expressed over granting of magisterial powers to the police officers. Steps were being taken to address the concern and go ahead with introduction of the system.