After Tihar jail ‘massage’ video, UP intensifies vigil on VVIP prisoners
CCTV surveillance units set up in all 72 prisons of the state apart from 30 cameras in each prison; at least 220 additional cameras of 4/5 mega pixels installed in 55 prisons.
LUCKNOW/PRAYAGRAJ UP jails, known for notorious activities of inmates in the past, have intensified surveillance over VVIP prisoners after a video of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi minister Satyendra Jain, getting a massage by a rape accused in Tihar central jail, went viral on social media.
Round-the-clock video vigil has been stepped up across all 72 jails and sub-jails in the state. These include Naini Central Jail, Lucknow jail, Gautam Buddh Nagar jail and other important jails where notorious criminals and terror suspects, along with a former minister and other VVIPS are lodged, said a senior prison official. Prison officials have been asked not to allow anything inside jails apart from those prescribed in the Jail Manual.
UP jails have been known for notorious activities of inmates in the past. These included the murder of jailed gangster Prem Prakash Singh alias ‘Munna Bajrangi’ by another gangster Sunil Rathi on July 9, 2018 and the killing of three gangsters during a shootout in Chitrakoot jail on May 2021. Besides, videos of inmates partying, consuming liquor and making extortion calls from inside jails had gone viral in the past.
Besides, a businessman was kidnapped by Atiq Ahmad’s henchmen and taken to Deoria jail, where he was tortured in April 2019.
“Prison officials have been asked to maintain a list of politicians, bureaucrats, mafias, dreaded gangsters and terror suspects lodged in their jails and intensify vigil on their activities to ensure that no special facility is provided to them,” he emphasised. Officials at prison administration and reform services headquarters stated that directions have been issued for intensifying monitoring in prisons across the state.
As per court orders, no one is allowed to get a massage or any other special service in jail, he added.
Several VVIPs, including former cabinet minister Gayatri Prajapati, gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad’s son Umar, gangster Sanjeev Maheshwari, police personnel accused in many cases, over 24 activists of Popular Front of India and five Pakistani terror accused are lodged in Lucknow district jail that houses around 3,500 prisoners, said jailor Rajendra Singh.
Similarly, Naini Central Jail has around 4,300 prisoners, which include terror suspects from J&K and other parts of the country, naxals, mafias, gangsters, psycho serial killers etc. Besides, many political leaders are also lodged in Naini Central Jail in different cases against them. The list includes former Phulpur MP Kapilmuni Karwaria and his younger brother (former MLC) Surajbhan Karwaria. Ghosi MP Atul Rai and former minister Angad Yadav are also lodged in this jail. The administration has lodged them in separate barracks.
Mukhtar Ansari’s son Abbas Ansari (MLA) is lodged in Chitrakoot Jail on security grounds.
RK Singh, jailor at Naini Central Jail, said security arrangements are being ensured for prisoners as per the Jail Manual. A list of such prisoners is being maintained and verified.
Earlier, five district jails, including Lucknow, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Azamgarh, Chitrakoot and Bareilly, had already been equipped with advanced facilities to keep 24x7 surveillance. Arrangements ranging from drone cameras to deep search metal detectors have been installed in these prisons, said another jail official.
“In addition to it, night-vision binoculars and hand-held metal detectors have been provided to these five prisons,” he added. He further stated that 48 additional high megapixel CCTV cameras have been installed in district prison of Lucknow.
“The live feed of all the district prisons can be accessed directly at the headquarters. A state-of-the-art FG-1 pole metal detection system has been installed in all prisons to monitor the detainees. A multi-zone doorframe and 3-5 handheld metal detectors have also been installed in all prisons of the state,” added the officer..