PATNA: Prison rules were thrown to the winds as inmates of a jail in Bihar were caught on camera having a good time by holding a feast and speaking on mobile phones, raising question marks over the management of jails in the state.
Three video clips doing the rounds on the social media show a number of prisoners in the divisional jail at Ara in Bhojpur district cooking a grand meal apparently in the garden of the jail and also speaking on mobile phones.
The video clips caused huge embarrassment to Bihar’s prison’s department and the Bhojpur district administration.
Sources said the inmates seen in the video clips are undertrial prisoners and that such feasts are a part of their weekly “mutton parties”. The prisoners, many of them possessing mobile phones in violation of prison rules, allegedly place special orders for mutton and other choice food items from outside the jail and hold such feasts regularly.
“The video clips have come to our attention, and a probe has been ordered. The district magistrate of Bhojpur has been asked to submit a report in three days,” said Bihar’s inspector general (IG) of prisons, Mithiesh Mishra, to this newspaper. “Appropriate action would be taken on the basis of the report,” he added.
Bhojpur SP Aditya Kumar said efforts are on to ascertain the date on which the video clips were made and whether they are of the Ara jail premises as is being claimed. “The probe will also find out how mobile phones came in the possession of the prisoners and who were facilitating such feasts inside the jail,” he added.
This jail in Ara was in the news last year after a video clip that went viral showed some prisoners using mobile phones, smoking cigarettes and also doing drugs on the jail premises.
A large number of mobile phones, SIM cards, cannabis and other banned items were seized from prisoners during raids conducted at various central, divisional and sub-divisional jails in Bihar in October last.
“It is known to everyone what happens inside the jails in Bihar. Many criminals have been allowed to use the jails as their abodes of safety and luxury, but the government just looks away,” said Bhai Birendra, a senior leader and MLA of the Opposition RJD.