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Home / Cities / Vendors have free access to buses carrying undertrials in Ludhiana

Vendors have free access to buses carrying undertrials in Ludhiana

cities Updated: Feb 14, 2020 22:59 IST
Tarsem Singh Deogan
Tarsem Singh Deogan
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
A vendor coming out of a bus ferrying inmates in Ludhiana on February 14.
A vendor coming out of a bus ferrying inmates in Ludhiana on February 14.(Gurpreet Singh/ HT)

A day after Ludhiana police commissioner Rakesh Agrawal issued orders that no one will be allowed to meet undertrials when they are produced in courts, a reality check revealed that rules were still being flouted with the relatives of the accused making all efforts to talk to them on court premises.

Even vendors selling eatables have free access to buses ferrying inmates. For strict implementation of orders, police will now install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras outside the courts near Bakshikhana (police lock-up in courts) to keep a vigil.

On Friday when the Hindustan Times team visited the court, the inmates’ kin were seen surrounding the buses and trying to hand over cash and food to them. The cops, however, asked them to refrain from doing so. However, vendors seemed to have free access and were selling eatables and tea packets to inmates.

Earlier, the kin of inmates were free to meet them. They would often hand over eatables, clothes and other things to inmates. Taking advantage of the situation, the inmates managed to get mobile phones, cash, drugs and other contraband from their family members and friends during the hearing of the case.

When contacted, police commissioner Rakesh Agrawal said that it was only the first day of implementation. “The police officials who bring the undertrials to court have been strictly directed to not let anyone to meet them,” he said.

The police chief said stern action will be taken against the cops too if the orders were not implemented. “To keep a tab, we will install CCTVs outside Bakhshikhana and the area where jail vans are parked,” he added.

WHAT MADE THE POLICE CHIEF TO IMPLEMENT BAN

There is a long trail of incidents that made the police chief to ban meetings between inmates and their relatives. The police chief has also ordered the cops to not let inmates talk to their relatives on their phone.

On 23 January, police recovered drugs from an undertrial soon after a man handed over a packet to him. The police recovered a case against the undertrial and his accomplice.

On October 4, 2019, a drug peddling accused Dharminder was brought to the court from the Ludhiana central jail for hearing. He had requested constable Bhupinder Singh to take him to Barewal Awana to meet his ailing mother. His accomplices were already present outside the court in a Maruti Suzuki Brezza car. After reaching Barewal Awana, the constable had unlocked his handcuffs and gone inside the house with him when the accused escaped with the help of his accomplices in the vehicle having a fake number plate and fake registration certificate. However, the police managed to arrested the accused the next day.

On April 27, 2019, the police arrested a man for handing over drugs to an undertrial in court complex. The accused who is a friend of the undertrial had come to the court complex on the pretext of meeting him. The police had recovered 130 gm cannabis from the accused and lodged an FIR against both accused including – undertrial Sagar of New Prem Nagar and Mandeep Singh of New Shivpuri.