The Prisons Department has decided to step up security at the Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara.
IGP (Prisons) V S Raja told reporters that two walls which connect the peripheral wall of the prison were demolished the day after serial rapist Jaishankar escaped. These two walls were about 25 feet high and they were connected directly to the peripheral wall. One was connecting the prison hospital wall. Jaishankar had climbed to escape. Another was behind the prison.
“We are installing barbed fencing on the peripheral wall to prevent (such cases),” he said.
“To prevent carrying out criminal activities inside the prison, we are introducing a paid telephone system like the one in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. Earlier, inmates were able to contact any phone numbers using the phones available in the booth. But in the new system, each inmate may contact only two specific numbers, registered in advance, and the conversation will also be recorded,” Raja said.
The prison has already installed mobile phone jammers. There was a complaint that the jammers were blocking mobile phone networks in the surrounding 2-km radius. “We are retuning the advanced jammer sets. We are banning inmates from getting food from outside as many things like narcotics, blades, SIM cards and other items, were smuggled into the prison on the pretext of getting food from outside. Now, even former minister Janardhana Reddy is not getting home food. We have restricted it to those who have permission from courts,” he added.
The inmates can only watch Doordarshan channel now, not any other channels. The authorities have also clamped restrictions on visitors.
Each undertrial may only meet visitors only once a week and convicts are allowed to meet their kin once in a fortnight. There are 50 cameras in and around the prison. But only a few are functioning as they were installed 12 years ago.
“We have decided to replace them with hi-tech surveillance cameras,” Raja explained.
“As of now, there are only 145 prison staff. But we require 400 staff. Shortly, we will recruit the staff and fill up the vacancies. We have also deployed around 50 Home Guards for security. Fifty inmates have graduated through distant education programmes,” Raja said.
He denied rumours that VIP inmates have access to luxurious facilities like mattresses and geysers. “These are all baseless and not true,” Raja clarified.