Shaken over major jailbreak in Meerut, the Uttar Pradesh government has today ordered to conduct raids on all jails in the state to find out the prevailing situation. The district civil and police authorities conducted raids on Wednesday morning.
While there were no significant recoveries, the prisoners were taken off guard as at some places officers swooped on them around 4 am.
The Additional Director General (law and order) Brijlal said the police recovered few pouches of drugs, shaving blades, two SIM cards, one mobile and Rs 3165.
Since the escape of nine prisoners from Meerut jail on Tuesday had created consternation in the government, 3000 home guards were today also provided to jail authorities to further upgrade the security system.
However, sources said in the absence of proper training these home guards would not be given direct charge of security. They will assist the prison guards.
The chief minister office also had meeting with the jail authorities to chalk out further action plan. While manpower shortage in jails has badly affected the functioning, the Home Department is sitting tight over proposal to fill up vacant posts at all levels. As against sanctioned strength of 8132, the available staff is 5958. There are 2227 vacant posts.
Like all other prisons, Meerut jail was also overcrowded. As against the capacity of 1200, there are 2650 prisoners in Meerut jail and 60 securitymen, just half of the approved strength, to guard them.
The barrack from where the prisoners escaped had 99 inmates against the capacity of 60.
Jail authorities told Hindustan Times that massive rains on Monday night had completely disrupted the electricity supply to Meerut Jail.
Taking advantage of darkness, the prisoners, who had already cut the iron bars of a ventilator in toilet, escaped from the prison, said a senior officer.
“Scenario is grim in UP jails,” says the officer. Nearly 86000 prisoners, doubled the capacity, are lodged in 61 jails. The number of convicted people has gone up from 6000 to 26000 during the last four years.
In Barielly jail there are 21 terrorists. However the government has made special security arrangement there. There is feeling in the jail department that “de-crowding” mechanism should be developed to stop frequent jailbreak. There are nearly 1650 inmates who are in jails for more than 14 years.