Tamil Nadu

Borstal school to be notified as special camp

Eleven Indonesia citizens being taken to Chennai’s Puzhal Central Prison by police personnel   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Tamil Nadu police have initiated the process of notifying the Borstal school in the Puzhal prison complex as a special camp to accommodate the foreign attendees of an event conducted by Tablighi Jamaat, who were arrested for violating their visa conditions. They will be detained in the proposed camp, pending trial/deportation, police sources said on Tuesday.

The prisoners, hailing from Indonesia, Bangladesh and other countries, had come to India on tourist visas to take part in the Delhi conference. Following the event, they visited various districts in Tamil Nadu to preach. Acting on the instructions of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the State police arrested the foreigners. Of the 111 foreign nationals, 11 persons from Bangladesh were shifted to the Stanley Government Hospital on Sunday, after two of them tested positive for COVID-19.

Since the Prison Department had taken steps to ensure that newcomers don’t mingle with the existing inmates at central prisons, as part of its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the foreign nationals were housed in the Borstal School, which is located in the Puzhal prison complex, but with no access to the other three prisons or the prisoners lodged there. “Once all the prisoners get bail, the Borstal School will be notified as a special camp, where they will be detained, pending trial or deportation. This is basically to restrict their movement,” a senior police official told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Tamil Nadu used to have a few special camps in Tiruchi, Melur, Cheyyar and Chengalpattu to detain Sri Lankan nationals who had been arrested on various charges and later granted bail, or those who were awaiting the government’s clearance for deportation. They were closed down, and now, there is only one operating in Tiruchi.

Quarantined jails

In a separate development, the Director-General of Police, Prisons, Sunil Kumar Singh, said the number of exclusive jails/Borstal Schools to accommodate newcomers to prisons had been increased from 38 to 65. Foreign nationals with travel histories and others remanded in judicial custody were being accommodated in these facilities and kept under close observation by medical teams.

“There is no possibility of old prisoners, including convicts, getting affected by the coronavirus because there is absolutely no chance of their coming into contact with newcomers. The Standard Operating Procedure is that foreign nationals are quarantined at their place of arrest and brought to prison only after they test negative for COVID-19 twice. However, since there is a possibility that they could develop symptoms later, we continue to keep them in separate blocks,” Mr. Singh said.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 1:53:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/borstal-school-to-be-notified-as-special-camp/article31400552.ece

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