Bihar shelves plan to build high-security jail for Maoists near Patna; new facility to come up in Bhagalpur
The proposed jail will now be constructed within the campus of Bhagalpur Central Jail, according to a decision taken by top officials of the state’s home and prison departments.
PATNA: The Bihar government has shelved its plan to build a high-security jail for Maoists and hardcore criminals in the Patna suburb of Phulwarisharif due to a number of reasons, including very dense population around the site chosen for the facility.
The proposed jail will now be constructed within the campus of Bhagalpur Central Jail, according to a decision taken by top officials of the state’s home and prison departments. The modalities of building this new facility would be worked out by the middle of next month, said a senior official.
In January, the state government had decided to construct a new jail at Phulwarisharif, on the southwestern fringe of Patna, especially for Maoists and hardcore criminals. Even a sum of Rs 56.72 crore was sanctioned for the purpose by the home department. The new jail was to come up after dismantling the small jail that stands there.
“Very dense population around the jail at Phulwarisharif was deemed to be the biggest factor in the decision not to build this proposed high-security jail there. By contrast, the Bhagalpur jail premises offer the best prospects for this facility,” said an official of the prison department.
With hundreds of Maoists and dreaded criminals currently lodged in various jails of Bihar, the government plans to build a special jail with foolproof security arrangements where all these lawbreakers would be lodged.
“The state government is keen to avert any repeat of the Jehanabad jailbreak of 2006, in which over 300 prisoners had escaped custody,” said the official. That jailbreak, which remains one of the most daring in the country so far, was masterminded by top Maoist leader Arvindjee, who was known for some of the deadliest operations and attacks on security forces. Several Maoists lodged in the Jehanabad jail had escaped in the 2006 incident.
The Nitish Kumar-led government in Bihar plans to add video-conferencing facility in all jails in the state by the end of this year. In November last, Kumar inaugurated 56 telephone exchanges at 30 jails