CHANDIGARH: Punjab Jails Department will have a separate intelligence wing to keep a tab on prisoners and prisons. This comes after the Nabha Jail break in which six inmates, including two militants, escaped last month.
“We will set up an Internal Monitoring Analysis Wing (IMAW). It will keep a tab on activities in jails across the state and on prisoners,” said Rohit Chaudhary, Additional Director General of Police (Prisons), Punjab. The wing will also monitor how mobile phones, drugs and other items penetrate jails. It will be headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police and will have four sub-inspectors and 16 constables. Selected prisoners and staff will be motivated to provide information.
The Punjab Prisons department has proposed CCTVs in all jails of the state. Cellphone signal jammers will be upgraded to tackle 4G as prisoners use WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media. Currently, only 2G and 3G signal can be jammed in prisons. The Nabha Jail escapees were uploading pictures and content on their Facebook accounts and making WhatsApp calls from jail.
“We are installing intercom phones in all wings, watchtowers, gates, control rooms and offices in all state jails to have better communication to thwart any untoward ncident,” Chaudhary said.
Mapping of all prisoners, especially gangsters and terrorists, in all jails has begun.
The Prisons Department has asked the state government to demolish the 100-year-old Nabha Jail and build another one in its place, which can house more prisoners and have better facilities.
After the Nabha Jail break, 300 Punjab Armed Police personnel have been deployed in Punjab prisons and 200 more weapons—from light machine guns to small arms—have been issued to them. More personnel are being recruited to guard jails in Punjab.