Chandigarh: Taking serious note of drug trafficking in the jails in connivance with the jail staff, Mr. Sarwan Singh Phillaur Tourism Cultural Affairs and Jail Minister Punjab has asked the jail superintendents to identify the culprits and initiate departmental action against the government officials found involved in the crime. Stringent steps have been taken to break the nexus between the drug peddlers and the jails authorities on priority and as a part of the strategy a few notorious prisoners have been already transferred to other jails of the Punjab
In a statement issued here today, Mr. Phillaur said that a flying squad has been constituted to conduct random surprise checks in the jails. Similar checking with the help of the Police department was done at High Security Jail Nabha in the first week of July. The
Minister also said that the state government was fully geared up to tackle the unfortunate situation of drug smuggling in the jails and was keeping a hawk's eye on the activities of the jail authorities and inmates and "their activities would be constantly monitored ",said the Minister. He also said that the officers from within the department found guilty of breaking the norms would be dealt with firmly and a strict administrative action would be initiated against them. Drug de-addiction centers have been set up in the 8 prisons of the state. X-ray machines were being installed for detection of Narcotics and other objectionable material as a pilot project at Central Jail
Amritsar, Jalandhar and Kapurthala.
Adding further, the Minister said that CCTVs have been installed in 7 Central Jails and 6 District Jails to monitor jail premises and movement of prisoners. The Government would install such cameras in the rest of jails and upgrade the existing CCtv system by installing cctv cameras at all security towers including Central towers and other sensitive places to monitor the movements of prisoners. To strengthen the security of the Jails, mobile jammers were being installed as pilot project at District Jail Sangrur and Nabha, said Mr. Phillaur.
To check the escape of under trial prisoners while taking them to the courts, the Minister said that to overcome this problem of production of under trial prisoners for extension of their judicial remand, Video conferencing equipments have been installed and video conferencing has been made operational in 10 Jails and 32 Courts at the cost of Rs.1.48 crores. In phase-2, Video Conferencing would be introduced in 16 Jails and 24 Courts at Cost of Rs. 2.23 Crores. This step would ensure the production of under trial prisoners in Courts through Video linkage and would result in expeditious disposal of the cases of under trial prisoners and would prevent infiltration/smuggling of contraband substances being brought by prisoners while coming back from Court production in the jails.