Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jail revamp to resist rebels

amshedpur, Aug. 24: A spurt in Naxalite violence in East Singhbhum has prompted the district administration to step up security at Ghatshila jail.

Inspector-general (IG), prison, Sunil Kumar Burnwal has directed the jail authorities to submit a proposal for security beef-up. The measures will include setting up four watchtowers, extending the boundary wall and reinforcing the armed. Burnwal said the jail would be turned into a high-security one.

The IG, who visited the Ghatshila jail today, admitted that the jail was at risk since many of its inmates had been booked for Naxalite links. He said that the location and weak boundary wall could make the jail an easy target for rebels.“Spread over 12 acres, this jail may not have space constraint like the Sakchi Jail, but there are security loopholes that need to be plugged,” Burnwal said. He said he had recommended acquisition of five more acres of land for expanding and fortifying the boundary.

The IG also paid a visit to the Ghagidih jail, which is under construction. He was accompanied by Kolhan police commissioner M.L. Rai and deputy commissioner of East Singhbhum Rabindra Agarwal.

Burnwal said the construction of the new prison facility was almost complete and it would be inaugurated very soon. “Except for minor hitches, the jail is ready,” he told The Telegraph.

The IG said the district administration had been asked to provide additional forces for the security of the new jail, too. “The barrack must have adequate number of armed guards. The hospital must be complete with beds and medical equipment. Besides, the administrative block of the jail requires furniture,” he said.

Burnwal said that the administration needed to make special arrangements for shifting prisoners from Sakchi jail to Ghagidih. Mobilising forces to escort the prisoners and manning the watchtowers is important.

The IG said that the inauguration of the new jail should not be delayed further and he would soon recommend a date for the function to the state home department.

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