Taking lessons from the incident of rioting by prisoners in Howrah jail early this year, the West Bengal Government on Friday decided to raise a reserve force for conducting “surprise checks” in the jails to prevent such incidents.
“We will create a reserve force to assist senior officials in conducting surprise checks in prisons,” state Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters after a day-long meeting with jail department officials to discuss the report on the Howrah Jail riots.
Sen said a time-bound programme was being taken to search all wards and seize offensive material and security gadgets like x-ray scanners, metal detectors and CCTVs would also be installed in the prisons.
He said manual frisking of visitors had resulted in seizure of a number of cellphones and other articles and action had been taken against two errant officers in this connection.
The officer said that steps were also being taken to fill up 400 posts of prison guards.
Pointing out a main reason of the Howrah Jail riots was the prisoners’ grievance over lack of proper facilities, he said a Committee, headed by the I-G (Prisons) had been formed to recommend improvement in prison facilities. The committee has been asked to submit its report within three months.