BARIPADA: Even as Baripada Circle Jail, like others across the State, is overcrowded owing to the ongoing agitation by lawyers, defunct CCTV cameras on the prison premises have emerged as a major challenge for officials.Sources said Baripada jail, established in 1858, is spread over 67.66 acres that houses administrative building, accommodation for inmates (both male and female) and a farm.
The prison, having a capacity to accommodate 591 inmates, including 544 males and 47 females, had 799 inmates as on Saturday. The jail authorities had installed 83 CCTV cameras to ensure security of the premises. However, 55 such cameras have been lying defunct for the last one month. Sources said the 28 functional cameras are not enough to cater to the security needs of the prison.
The ongoing lawyers’ strike across the State has not only added to the problems of the authorities but also the undertrial prisoners.Recently, 28-year-old Sanjay Soren, a resident of Sikarghati village under Baripada Sadar police limits, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in illegal liquor trade, could not perform his mother’s last rites as he was unable to get bail. His family waited for two days and finally Sanjay’s younger brother performed the last rites of the 60-year-old woman, who died at the district headquarters hospital following an illness.
On the issue of inadequate CCTV cameras, the prison authorities said they had sent two letters to a private agency responsible for maintenance of the cameras, on September 26 and October 5, but nothing has yet been done in this regard.Contacted, Baripada circle jail Superintendent Niranjan Das said more than 200 under-trial prisoners have been lodged in the prison since the lawyers started their Statewide agitation.
Das said the number of inmates in the jail has gone up to 799 among whom at least 30 are hardcore criminals. He, however, said security is not an issue at the prison as it has two jammers and adequate staff.