Unnao jail video raises further questions about state of security in UP jails

In the incident in the Unnao district jail, the video of which went viral on social media, two inmates are seen flashing firearms openly.

Published: 27th June 2019 04:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2019 02:06 PM   |  A+A-

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Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: After central jails in Prayagraj, Rae Bareili jail and Sultanpur, it was the turn of the Unnao jail to expose the chinks in security inside UP prisons. From liquor to narcotics, food to cellphones and even firearms, the inmates seem to enjoy everything that they have on their wishlist. 

In the latest incident in the Unnao district jail, the video of which went viral on social media, two inmates are seen flashing firearms openly. 

The video also brings back memories of the gruesome murder of gangster Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi inside Baghpat district jail in July last year. 

The incident had led to the suspension of the jailor, deputy jailor, warden and head warden. A judicial inquiry into the matter was also ordered. 

After almost a year since the incident, the Baghpat jailor Uday Pratap Singh has been terminated by the state home department for his lackadaisical approach towards maintaining security and decorum on jail premises.

When it comes to the Unnao incident, the home and prison department officials have 'clarified' that the firearm being brandished by Ankur and Amrish Rawat was a fake one. The revolver was made of clay and painted black by Ankur, who is also a painter. 
The said video, which was allegedly shot in February, shows inmates using cellphones and having a gala time while being served booze and food in their barracks.  

Though the Unnao jail superintendent was able to tell that the gun was fake and the booze was nothing but oil in a bottle, he failed to explain how the inmates ended up using mobile phones. The Superintendent said the issue will be probed after establishing the authenticity of the video.

The video shows two inmates threatening others and asking them to keep it low or 'face dire consequences.' They are reportedly seen challenging the Yogi government saying the authorities can’t do anything as they always operate from jails.

As per the jail sources, Gaurav Pratap Singh alias Ankur of Rae Bareli and Amrish Rawat of Meerut are convicted of murder and serving life sentences. They are lodged in barrack no 17 of Unnao district jail.

Rawat, who has nine cases against him, was shifted from Meerut jail for administrative reasons. Ankur, who has been convicted in loot and murder cases lodged against him in Rae Bareli and Lucknow, was shifted to Unnao six months back.

When contacted, principal secretary, home, Arvind Kumar, and the prison department claimed that a detailed probe into the video has established that it was recorded during winters earlier this year and this explains why the two prisoners are seen wearing woollen clothes.

The video was reportedly released by the jail staff who had an axe to grind against a senior official of the Unnao jail, Kumar said.

The principal secretary also said that after the involvement of two head wardens - Mata Prasad and Hemraj - and two ward boys - Awadesh Sahu and Saleem Khan - was established in the entire conspiracy, a departmental inquiry had been ordered against them and they will be duly punished for their actions.

Termination from service could not be ruled out after the report, said the officer.

'Jailhouse Rock' files from the past

  • Video of Rae Bareli district jail shows two dreaded criminals Sohrab and Anshu Dixit demanding extortion money and partying inside a barrack in November, 2018.
  • Photos of inmates in Naini central jail seen partying and consuming liquor went viral on social media on June 5, 2019. Two jail sentries suspended, inquiry ordered.
  • Video of two undertrials using mobile phones and partying inside Ghazipur district jail emerges on June 6, 2019.
  • Dreaded criminal Akash Yadav lodged in Rae Bareli jail was seen in a video harassing three other inmates. Mobile phone, SIM cards and narcotics recovered from Yadav’s barrack on June 18, 2019.
  • Video of four inmates partying and consuming liquor inside Sultanpur district jail went viral on social media on June 19, 2019. It showed inmates in possession of bullets, a huge amount of cash, pan masala and other banned materials inside the jail.
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