If one goes by the recent incidents in the Mansa jail, it seems that parole has become an easy route to smuggle drugs into prisons.
On April 1, when Resham Singh returned to the district jail after finishing his parole, he was found having 50gm sulpha in his possession. The jail authorities confiscated the drug and filed an FIR against him under the NDPS Act.
The drug was being carried in a box full of clothes. A few days ago, another prisoner Nanak Singh, who was out on parole, was caught with 1,200 tablets hidden in a jar used for containing pickle.
Senior police officials claim that it is an old practice in prisons and it is very tough to nab the real culprit due to connivance of men in uniform. “Any prison has a lot of staff ranging from sweepers to laundry employees.
Anybody can smuggle drug in the jail and it is widely used,” claimed an SHO, who wished not to be named.
He further added that prisoners adopt innovative methods to hide the drugs for smuggling them into the prisons. “We conduct random search operations to curb the drug abuse. Even then some of the convicts manage to give us a slip.” It was also found that each cell in the prison was not monitored through CCTV cameras. Once a prisoner enters into the jail premises, he undergoes security check twice before getting into his cell.
But, it seems that prisoners either manage to outsmart the cops or the men in uniform are hand-in-glove to encourage this business.
Some of the convicts, who are out after finishing their sentence, alleged that there are several transit points through which they used to receive drugs in the prison.
“When prisoners are brought to the court, the peddlers are present there before our arrival and somehow they manage to provide us nasha,” said a convict who wished to stay anonymous.
The misuse of parole in Punjab found a mention in the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report in 2009. After six months of jail stay, every prisoner is entitled to a 4-week parole. As per the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoner (Temporary Release) Act, parole is allowed only after the recommendation of the district magistrate and the SSP. But it is said politicians and influential people play a decisive role in granting parole permission.