To keep an eye on notorious gangsters and ensure they are away from other prisoners, the Punjab prisons department has set up “special high security zones” in the major jails in the state.
“Ten separate high security zones have been set up in the central jails in Punjab to house all the gangsters and hardened criminals,” a senior official of the department said here on Monday.
To keep electronic surveillance on gangsters and hardcore criminals, the department has planned to install more CCTVs and jammers to block 4G network. “We have proposed to install 32 CCTVs for each high-security zone and one 4G jammer each for these zones,” said the official adding that 500 walkie-talkie sets will also be purchased.
The move of setting up special security zones was initiated after infamous Nabha jailbreak incident in November last year in which a group of armed men managed to free six prisoners.
Despite being behind bars, gangsters have often accessed mobile phones and internet in the state’s jails and even posted messages on social media. The prison department caught 400 mobiles in last three months from inmates, the official said.
The high-security zones have been set up in central jails including Patiala, Ludhiana, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur and Ferozepur.
There are at present around 300 gangsters lodged in different jails in Punjab. The prison department has also written to state police authorities to give names of gangsters or criminals who could be put in these high-security zones.
The department has also proposed to set up drug de-addiction centres in all the jails in order to provide proper treatment to inmates. “We have at present 4,500 drug addicts in jails,” the official said.
It has also been decided to shift some inmates to jails of their choice. “We have decided to shift 400-500 inmates to other prisons of their convenience or jail in their home areas,” he said.
A decision has also been taken to set up bakery unit in Gurdaspur jail and power looms in Bathinda jail, he said.