CHANDIGARH: Twenty-two jail inmates were booked in connection with the clashes that broke out between the prisoners and the police personnel at the Ludhiana Central Jail.
The violence had erupted at the jail on Thursday after a prisoner booked under the NDPS Act died at a hospital in Patiala.
Sources said a case was registered at the Division Number 7 Police Station in Ludhiana. It has come to light that one undertrial was missing from the jail after the melee.
The back-to-back incidents at Nabha, where a prisoner was killed, and Ludhiana jails in Punjab have exposed the lack of management as well as intelligence failure in the so-called ‘sudhar kendras’ (correctional centres).
In the Ludhaina episode, the prisoners had high-resolution mobile phones and they shot the videos and put them live on the social media, posted on WhatsApp groups and also streamed the incident live on their Facebook pages.
In the last one year, about 500 mobiles phones were recovered from the jails in the northern state. Punjab is in need of at least 500 wardens to keep a watch over 20,000 convicted prisoners in the jails, leave aside the undertrials.
“The question is who they managed to get mobiles in the jails and then used them without any fear. The claims by the jail department that they are strict and nothing can go inside the jails is just hollow,’’ said a senior prison official.
On Friday, Jail minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa visited the Central Jail Ludhiana and took stock of the situation. Additional DG, Jails, Rohit Chaudhary informed him that some gangsters plotted the violence as they were irked with the jail administration for not letting them out of the High-Security Zone, besides not letting prohibited items inside the premises. Randhawa announced an award of Rs 5,000 each for these officers, besides commendation certificates and promotion.
Transfer of staff after video gaffe
A day after a video of jail inmates brandishing a firearm inside the Unnao jail went viral, four jail officials were transferred to different jails in Uttar Pradesh on late Thursday night.
Head warder Mata Prasad whose involvement was alleged in the incident was sent to the Maharajganj jail, while Hemraj was transferred to the Varanasi Central Jail. Jail warders Salim Khan and Avdhesh Sahu were shifted to the Basti district jail and the Varanasi Gyanpur jail.
Prasad and Hemraj are said to have plotted the episode involving the inmates to malign some senior officials