Proposal to deploy CISF to guard Punjab jails hits roadblock | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Proposal to deploy CISF to guard Punjab jails hits roadblock

Under the agreement between the state government and the Union home ministry, reached in April this year, the Centre was to provide two CISF companies to ensure security at the ‘high-security and sensitive jails’ where hardcore terrorists and gangsters are lodged.

punjab Updated: Aug 09, 2017 09:59 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Late last year, the Nabha jailbreak brought limelight to the security arrangements.
Late last year, the Nabha jailbreak brought limelight to the security arrangements.(HT File)

The Union home ministry has expressed its inability to immediately spare two companies of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to assist Punjab Police in guarding jails. The ministry’s communication to the state home department cites dearth of trained personnel with the force for its decision.

Under the agreement between the state government and the Union home ministry, reached in April this year, the Centre was to provide two CISF companies to ensure security at the ‘high-security and sensitive jails’ where hardcore terrorists and gangsters are lodged. In exchange, Punjab was to provide two companies of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) to the ministry.

“In the latest communication, the Union home ministry has also suggested that since the CISF was a specially-trained Central force, exchanging it with Batallions of Police force may not be a workable idea,” said a senior functionary in state home department. 

What was the proposal

Punjab home department had mooted he idea to hand over few sensitive jails or few sensitive zones inside jails — dreaded gangsters and criminals are lodged here — to the CISF to break the nexus betweeen jail department officials and these hard-core criminals.

“It has been observed that dreaded smugglers and crimianls develop cordial relation with the security staff by alluring them with money or by threatening them to harm their family members. When the security would be from outside and more professional, it would be difficult for the inmates to enjoy lavish life inside,” a senior officer said. 

Another reason behind asking for central security was to prevent embarrassing situations like the November 2016 Nabha Jail break, where five gangsters and a terrorist fled after conniving with the jail staff and police officials. 

Additional director general of police (ADGP) jails, Gaurav Yadav said the proposal was still on and Punjab home secretary NS Kalsi and state DGP Suresh Arora had repeatedly discussed the issue with the Union home ministry.  “As far as I know, the CISF has said that the force needs special training to guard Punjab jails. They have said the two batallions will be sent once their new recruits are free from training. There might be a delay, but we are sure to get the CISF,” he added.