The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for the apathetic attitude adopted by it to keep a tab on the functioning of jails across the state.
In its latest report on the functioning of the state prisons, the CAG has pointed out that although a high-level Jail Security Review Board, headed by the Chief Secretary, has been in place since 1999 its quarterly meetings have not been convened since July 2004.
"The state government says that meetings could not be held because of non-submission of required information by Director General (Jails). This indicates apathetic attitude towards review of jail functioning."
This, the report says has led to security failures and overcrowding of the jails "to the extent of 56 to 100 per cent of their capacity resulting in clashes among inmates."
As many as 69 such incidents took place during 2004-07, the CAG said.
"The overcrowding has affected the management of prisoners to such an extent that under-trials and convicts are lodged in the same barracks, which is in violation of the Jail Manual. "
In some cases even suspected terrorists and dreaded gangsters are housed in jails alongwith inmates which threatens the jail security.
Pointing towards the defects plaguing the security arrangements like deployment of untrained staff and non-functioning of mobile phone jammers and CCTVs, the report says that this has resulted in unchecked use of cell phone and adversely affected the ability to thwart jailbreaks.