After getting congratulatory calls from prisoners, Punjab minister issues stern warning to jail superintendents

He has also called a meeting of jail superintendents of the state from May 1.

punjab Updated: Apr 27, 2018 11:23 IST
Vishal Rambani
Vishal Rambani
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Punjab jail and cooperation minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa(HT Photo)

A day after he received congratulatory calls from prisoners lodged inside Punjab’s jails, newly-inducted jail and cooperation minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has issued has warned jail superintendents of strict action. He has also called a meeting of jail superintendents of the state from May 1.

Nearly 200 mobile phones were recovered from the state’s jails in 2017.

“The calls, from Kapurthala and Amritsar jails, have worked as a wake-up call for me. I have to work hard as the jail department’s working has gone totally haywire. It is now clear that inmates have easy access to phones,” Randhawa told HT over phone.

“I would not have believed that such calls happen. However, one of the callers was known to me and I am aware that he is in jail,” the minister added.

Every other day, the state’s jails make headlines for all the wrong reasons, be it gangsters doing a Facebook Live or sharing pictures of birthday celebrations. Phone calls and messages are passed on among dreaded gangsters and criminals.

The minister said, “Access to phones leads to incidents like the 2016 Nabha jail break that brings nationwide shame to the Punjab jails department. I am not going to tolerate this inefficient working of the jail staff. From now onwards, if any Facebook Live broadcast or mobile usage is detected in any jail, the superintendent concerned will be punished.”

He added that Punjab’s jails have 2G mobile jammers, while most cellular services now operated on 4G. “A request for approving 4G jammers for the state’s jails is pending with the Union home ministry. I have sought time to meet the Union home minister to get clearance for the same,” Randhawa added.

First Published: Apr 27, 2018 11:19 IST