Move to curtail antisocial activities inside Central Jail
Following a request from police, the government has upgraded the newly-constructed prison at Yanam as Special-Sub Jail to accommodate convicts. The request was made by the police as they wanted to shift some of the “active” convicts from the Central Prison here to a far-off place to stifle their operations.
Inspector General of Police (Prisons) Pankaj Kumar Jha told The Hindu that the prison on Lakshmi Oil Mills Campus, Yanam, had been declared a special sub-jail. Last week, three murder convicts lodged at the Centra Prison were shifted to Yanam, he said.
“As per rule convicts cannot be lodged in sub-jail. So, we made a request to the jail authorities to upgrade the prison as a special sub-jail,” said a senior police officer. The decision to shift some of the active convicts came up after it was found that at least three murder incidents, involving gang rivalries, that occurred in the town recently were planned inside the jail and executed by giving directions over phone to henchmen, said the officer.
The police were of the view that if these anti-social elements were shifted from their home town to another place, they would be cut off from their gang members. However, a section of officers doubt whether reallocating them to another place could yield the desired results.
An officer, on condition of anonymity, said, “the murders were executed from the Central Prison by giving directions over the phone and that too when three jammers were installed in the prison. There is no guarantee that they would not use the cell phones in Yanam. Remember, so far there is no jammer facility in Yanam,” he said.
Only strict enforcement of prison rules by jail warders could curtail activities of anti-social elements lodged in the prison, he said, adding, “there is an active connivance between inmates and some of the staff.” He also pointed out last week's seizure of around 250 gm of marijuana from the custody of jail warder at the Central Prison.
Warder Francis was caught while he was being frisked by personnel of India Reserve Battalion in the presence of other jail staff. The marijuana was kept inside his moped parked inside the jail complex, an officer who investigated the case, said.
According to police, the accused has escaped arrest and preliminary investigation revealed that he was supplying ganja to some inmates for some time. They also doubt his involvement in supplying mobile phones to some prisoners, police said.
An officer, who is privy to jail administration, said a complete re-haul of the staff and stringent punishment to those not enforcing the rules alone could prevent such incidents from occurring.