Prison lords in Madhya Pradesh now inmates at the jails they oversaw
Two officers, who once lorded over prisons in Madhya Pradesh in different capacities, are now lodged in the same prisons.bhopal Updated: Sep 28, 2015 17:35 IST
Two officers, who once lorded over prisons in Madhya Pradesh in different capacities, are now lodged in the same prisons.
The recent arrest of the two officers — Purushottam Somkunwar and Arvind Joshi — and their being remanded to judicial custody in jail is a rare phenomenon among senior officials facing corruption charges.
Former IAS officer and ex-principal secretary (jail) Joshi was sent to judicial custody on September 17, while Somkunwar was sent to Indore Central Jail on Saturday.
Like Joshi, he too had been booked after a lokayukta police team raided his residence in Bhopal and found wealth disproportionate to his income.
Earlier, Somkunwar was superintendent of the Bhopal Central Jail as well as Indore Central Jail in the past.
Now, the dismissed jail official is prisoner number 3605, an under-trial inmate after the court ordered his arrest in the case.
Though jail officials refuse to speak on record, their circles are abuzz about the irony in the tale of the two officials.
“As the superintendent, he not only had complete control over the happenings in the jail, but he had much more influence than many other jail superintendents,” reminisces a Bhopal central jail officer on the condition of anonymity. “Earlier too, ministers and bureaucrats have been brought to jail, but it is rare to have senior jail officials living in the same condition as the prisoners in the jails where they once commanded absolute power.”
Joshi, was not a jail department official, rather an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), but was posted as principal secretary (jail) when Income Tax officials raided his residence in February 2010.
In his former position, Joshi headed jails of the entire state and could lord over and inspect any jail at will. Both he and his wife Tinoo Joshi are accused in a case of amassing disproportionate assets and are now in jail.