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Bathinda jail firing incident: Probe points at lack of supervision, security lapse

A magisterial probe conducted after the firing incident at the Bathinda central jail has found glaring violations in following the jail manual by the authorities.

punjab Updated: Apr 22, 2015 19:38 IST
Sachin Sharma
Sachin Sharma
Hindustan Times
Bathinda,magisterial probe,firing incident

A magisterial probe conducted after the firing incident at the Bathinda central jail has found glaring violations in following the jail manual by the authorities.

On April 16, gangster Kulbir Singh Naruana shot at Gurdip Singh, alias Manna, a member of the rival group with a .12-bore pistol on the jail premises leaving him seriously injured.

The report which was submitted to deputy commissioner-cum-district magistrate Basant Garg by sub-divisional magistrate Damanjeet Singh Mann on Tuesday reveal that there was a mismatch between the register maintained by the jail officials and the footage of the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera installed on the jail premises, besides a security lapse near the boundary wall from where the country-made pistol and ammunition were thrown inside the jail. Sources said the entry and exit time of visitors in the jail register and that recorded in the CCTV footage did not match.

Indicating towards the lack of supervision and control over the jail, the report says even the basics of the jail manual were not followed. As per rule 69 of the jail manual, there is a provision of mandatory checking of prisoners from 10pm to 4am once a week, but this was not being followed in the jail.

Besides, the jail superintendent has been found making fake entries in the journal which is mandatory for him to maintain on daily basis. It was found that the superintendent filled the journal claiming that he checked the jail premises on a particular date and time whereas it was established by the CCTV footage that he was not present there that day.

The report said the jail officials failed to step-up security in the area from where the pistol and ammunition was thrown inside the jail. Despite repeated incidents of drugs being thrown from over the boundary wall along the Bhagu road inside the jail, the authorities failed to beef up security, the report added. Five such cases have already been registered, said the report.

The area along the boundary wall is left unguarded for hours, giving criminals ample time to throw drugs and ammunition inside the jail. Besides, a dumping yard has been created at the place making it difficult for security personnel to find what is lying there, the report stated.

Meanwhile, an inquiry by the jails department has also pointed out security lapse in the prison. Principal secretary, jail department, Sanjay Kumar said the firing incident itself points towards a security lapse. The department will take action against the guilty officials, he said.

Naruana had fired two shots with a .12-bore pistol on jail inmate Gurdip Singh, alias Manna, on April 16, leaving his seriously injured. The district police arrested four of Naruana's aides, including a woman, for allegedly throwing pistol and ammunition inside the jail after Naruana demanded the weapon fearing threat to his life from members of the rival gang in the jail. Three jail employees were suspended and a criminal case was registered against 14 jail inmates after the incident.

First Published: Apr 21, 2015 22:01 IST