Business / Industry Sectors
Israel to help beef up prison security in Nagpur
31/12/2015
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that CCTV cameras would be installed at all jails to monitor activities of inmates and prevent smuggling of gadgets like mobile phones inside. The First project would be implemented in Nagpur Central Jail on pilot basis.

In view of a series of incidents that raised a question mark over security in jails across Nagpur, the Maharashtra government would be seeking Israel's help to beef up security with the help of technology. First such project would be implemented in Nagpur Central Jail on pilot basis.

Replying to a starred query by Yevla MLA Chhagan Bhujbal on escape of two life-term convicts from Nashik Central Jail, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said he recently met with Israeli consul general to discuss various measures to improve prison security. He announced that CCTV cameras would be installed at all jails to monitor activities of inmates and prevent smuggling of gadgets like mobile phones inside. He made a startling claim that visitors hid mobile phones and drugs into their rectum to smuggle them inside.

The CM added that government had also replaced old jail manual, used since British era and made certain changes. He however admitted about shortage of manpower as pointed out by opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil. He clarified that currently all jails were working with just 30%-40% of the actual employees' strength needed as vacancies had not been filled in many years.

"Earlier, the jail administration was granted powers to make appointments but it used to be stuck up in various administrative problems. The administration had to fight hard for filling up the posts. This area was neglected over the years that led to huge vacancy. Now, we have issued orders to fill up vacancies in jail along with those in police force," he said.

NCP group leader Jayant Patil suggested building a separate jail for convicts undergoing life imprisonment in Marathwada or in rural area away from the crowded city areas. According to him, it will ease burden on the existing jails that were overcrowded.

Lauding his suggestion, Fadnavis explained there were more undertrials than convicts and jail administration was under stress due to overcrowding. He informed that videoconferencing facility was installed across all jails to save inconvenience to the accused from frequently travelling to district places such as Gadchiroli that did not have a regular jail. Even the courts of judicial magistrates would be provided with this facility, he added.

On allegations that mobile jammers failed to work in state's jails, the CM agreed those could not cover the entire area of jails. The government had the option of setting up tower to jam all calls in vicinity of 1 km area of jail, but nowadays cities had grown to encompass many jails. It would block all calls within 1 km of the tower, thus causing inconvenience to citizens outside too. "Installing CCTV cameras is best option and I would be personally monitor the development," he said.

Earlier, Patil demanded handing over of jail administration to an independent minister of state, if CM having the portfolio was busy.

 

Source: The Times of India

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