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Prison must reform, not destroy: Karunanidhi

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SALUTING THE CHIEF: Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi being received by Director of Prisons V. Balachandran, shortly before the inauguration of modern prison complex at Puzhal near Chennai on Sunday. . Photo : M. Vedhan
SALUTING THE CHIEF: Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi being received by Director of Prisons V. Balachandran, shortly before the inauguration of modern prison complex at Puzhal near Chennai on Sunday. . Photo : M. Vedhan

Special Correspondent

Opens modern prison complex at Puzhal

  • Prison Manual guidelines have been scrupulously followed
  • The complex can house 1,250 remand prisoners
  • It boasts of computer rooms, meditation halls and hospitals
  • Prison Manual guidelines have been scrupulously followed
  • The complex can house 1,250 remand prisoners
  • It boasts of computer rooms, meditation halls and hospitals

    CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Sunday inaugurated "Asia's largest" and modern prison complex, constructed at a cost of Rs.77 crore, at Puzhal on the outskirts of Chennai.

    Persons who had served jail terms should be humanised so that they could emerge as enlightened teachers in the hard school of life, he said.

    Prison must reform, and not crush or destroy, human spirit. Only then could such prisons set up in a hygienic environment with large facilities effectively serve their purpose, he said.

    Recalling the travails of prison life experienced by persons like him in public life in the past, Mr. Karunanidhi said the State Government had taken adequate care to ensure humane treatment was provided to the inmates. As part of the efforts, the Government sanctioned 3,000 fans to all the cells in the prison. The Government was also considering using part of the old central prison complex site in the city for expanding the government general hospital, he said.

    Minister for Revenue and Law I. Periasamy said the DMK Government had taken steps to enhance prison facilities, as instructed by the Chief Minister.

    Chief Secretary L.K. Tirpathy commended the Tamil Nadu Police Housing Corporation (TNPHC) for constructing the prison complex with all facilities in a record time. Director of Prisons V. Balachandran said the Government had sanctioned Rs.90 lakh for providing non-vegetarian diet for prison inmates.

    Principal Secretary (Home) Pavan Raina said that given the severe overcrowding in the central prison in Chennai and the need for increasing the capacity with facilities, the Government had developed the new prison complex.

    Director-General of Police D. Mukherjee hoped the prison would provide an opportunity to the inmates to reform themselves and turn a new leaf in their life after their release. The police had been doing the commendable job of providing security at the high security Tihar jail, he said.

    TNPHC Chairman and Managing Director K.P. Jain explained the facilities available in the complex. Not only the guidelines of the Prison Manual but also the norms prescribed by the National Human Rights Commission had been scrupulously followed. The complex, which could house 1,250 remand prisoners, 1,250 convict prisoners and 500 women prisoners, had come up on a 212-acre site with modern facilities, including computer rooms, meditation halls, hospitals, conference halls, an amphitheatre and videoconferencing.

    Fisheries Minister K.P. Samy and Labour Progressive Federation president C. Kuppusamy spoke.

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