The Gurdaspur Central Jail authorities announced several rewards and sops for inmates as normalcy returned to the prison on Sunday.
The authorities got cracking on the task of introducing sweeping reforms in the prison, on the directions of Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday. The authorities arranged for a team of doctors to check on inmates in all the barracks. The team did not come across any incident of even minor injury.
In a sign of gratitude for protecting and saving the lives of four staff members during the rioting by about 150 inmates, the jail authorities have presented four barracks with TV sets, while giving a go-ahead for the establishment of a bakery unit for prisoners desirous of doing work.
In another gesture, more than 25 prisoners who had requested their transfer to other prisons for personal reasons have been shifted to the jails of their choice.
Further, nearly four dozen cases of leave, pending with the DC office, have been given the sanction as a reward to inmates who did not join the rioting mob of miscreants, said the spokesperson.
A helpline is being launched in the DC office for expediting parole requests, while arrangements are being made to provide the prisoners with special facilities to meet their relatives for the whole of next week.
The barrack in which the trouble started will be converted into an activity centre, with computer, English, yoga and music classes set to commence next week, the spokesperson said.
Further, a special IGNOU enrolment drive has started in the prison, with 31 inmates responding to the prison officials’ encouragement to join various courses (Matric, 10+2, BA, Basic, LLB).
Talking to HT, jail superintendent Dilbgah Singh Gill said, “Normalcy has returned to the jail and we are in talks with the inmates. A few gangsters and hardcore criminals had created the ruckus. We have formed a peace committee comprising officials and prisoners to look into the issues.”
On the reasons behind the violence, Gill said some inmates claim that warders were rude to them. “But the basic reason is that we intensified checking and surveillance to check flow of drugs and use of mobile phones. Some hardcore criminals felt suffocated and resorted to violence out of frustration,” Gill said.
Inmates had gone on rampage on Friday and the violence escalated through the night, during which warders were beaten up, furniture was burnt and a hole was carved out in the boundary wall of the jail by the prisoners in a bid to flee. The situation was brought under control by SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) commandos and other cops numbering around 3,000. Tear gas shells and gunshots were fired to thwart the jailbreak attempt.
■ Inmates of four barracks get TV sets as a reward for not participating in violence.
■ All inmates were medically examined.
■ A special IGNOU enrolment drive has started in the prison. About 31 inmates have expressed desire to join courses.
■ Barrack in which the trouble started will be converted into an activity centre, with computer, English, yoga and music classes set to commence next week.
■ Helpline is being launched in the DC office for expediting parole requests.
■ As many as 48 applications for leave by inmates, which were pending with the DC office, sanctioned.
■ About 25 prisoners shifted to jails of their choice.