Chandigarh, April 30, 2013: In order to ensure full security in the Punjab prisons, the Punjab government has imposed complete ban on the eatables and other items brought by the visitors for the prisoners from outside during the meetings.
This was stated here today by Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Jail Minister Punjab while presiding over a high level meeting of the senior officers, jail superintendents of sensitive jails and doctors posted in Punjab jails. At the same time the Minister has directed the jail authorities to make available every essential item for the inmates in the canteens within the jail premises. The Superintendent jail would be held responsible if any objectionable material is found supplied from outside.
The Punjab government, in order to check the overcrowding of prisoners in the state, would set up ultra modern jails especially in the state. Besides this the design and plan for three ultra-modern high security new jails at Amritsar, Bathinda and Muktsar to be constructed at a total cost of about Rs. 450 crore within two years. The new jails coming up would be equipped with CCTV cameras, Mobile Jammers, bio-security systems and other security equipment to ensure adequate security in Jails. The Minister has directed the officers to intensify their efforts to check the smuggling of drugs and cell phones and other prohibited items reportedly used by the prisoners in the jails. He has also asked them to follow the jail manual in both letter and spirit particularly when meetings are allowed. Any laxity on the part of the officers concerned would not be tolerated, he said. Reiterating the need of allowing only listed visitors, the Minister said that the government was in the process of formulating a clear strategy of allowing only the prescribed number of visitors and that too after thorough search so that nothing from outside could be taken inside the prisons. The visits would also be monitored by the deputy commissioners and the SDMs of the concerned districts, he added.
Referring to the frequent deaths of the inmates in the prisons, the Minister has asked the doctors posted in the prisons to ensure the best possible health care to the patients. Adequate stock of necessary medicines would be made available. A committee comprising of Superintendent Jail, Medical Officer of the Jail and Civil Surgeon have already been constituted to identify the Psychiatrist, Pediatrician, Gynecologist and other specialists’ on call doctors of the area to be on the panel of the jail department, added Phillaur. Besides this the ECG machines would be installed in the Prisons.
Expressing concern over the problems being faced by the prison staff in handling the nexus between the drug peddlers and the prisoners in the jails, the Minister said that the department was fully geared up to break this nexus and the superintendents of jails would be empowered to search the prisons and conduct criminal proceeding under NDPC Act. The Minister has asked the officers to conduct extensive fearless search operations in Punjab prisons with a view to nabbing the objectionable material posing security threat from the jail inmates. The officers confiscating maximum of such things from the prisoners would be honored by the state government, said the Minister.
Taking stock of the drug de-addiction centers set up in the jails, the Minister appreciated the efforts of health department along with the department of jails in providing advanced training in de-addiction to the 17 doctors of the state’s central jails from PGI under the De-addiction Coordination Program, Phillaur the vacant posts in various jail dispensaries would be filled up immediately. To ensure the recurrence of drug addiction in the inmates undergoing treatment, the Minister said that the efforts would be made to divert their minds towards some creative work rather them making them sit idle.
The prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included D. S. Bains, Principal Secretary Home and Raji P.Srivastva, Secretary Jails besides other senior officers of the department.