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Govt going slow on jail surveillance

By SANJOY RAY
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GUWAHATI, Sept 21 - Despite incidents of jailbreak and reported cases of human rights violations taking place in prisons across the State from time to time, the State government continues to remain reluctant in making the surveillance mechanism foolproof.

In fact, a slew of measures conceived and designed to strengthen the security set-up of the prisons have gathered dust. The measures included a proposal to install close circuit television cameras (CCTVs) in all the

prisons.

Further, manpower crunch is something the prisons department could not find an answer to, even if when it comes to crucial posts like jailor and superintendent, who is the head of the jail set-up.

Of the 31 jails in the State, the posts of as many as 18 jailors and four superintendents are still lying vacant.

�The Guwahati Central Jail is the only prison where CCTV cameras are installed although the number is far from adequate, given the area of the jail premises. We still do not know whether or not the other prisons would ever be brought under CCTV surveillance,� sources told this correspondent.

Earlier, the plan was to cover all the other jails in a phased manner, starting with five other central jails in Nagaon, Jorhat, Tezpur, Dibrugarh and Silchar.

A senior Assam Police official, when contacted, said, �We have seen in the past how criminals have tried to turn the jails to their advantage. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that many jails have virtually turned into a breeding ground for criminals. It is baffling and difficult to comprehend why the government is dillydallying the project.�

Meanwhile, another official of the prisons department claimed that the board to appoint the jailor would soon sit to fill up the vacant posts, although the official refrained from setting a timeline.

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Govt going slow on jail surveillance

GUWAHATI, Sept 21 - Despite incidents of jailbreak and reported cases of human rights violations taking place in prisons across the State from time to time, the State government continues to remain reluctant in making the surveillance mechanism foolproof.

In fact, a slew of measures conceived and designed to strengthen the security set-up of the prisons have gathered dust. The measures included a proposal to install close circuit television cameras (CCTVs) in all the

prisons.

Further, manpower crunch is something the prisons department could not find an answer to, even if when it comes to crucial posts like jailor and superintendent, who is the head of the jail set-up.

Of the 31 jails in the State, the posts of as many as 18 jailors and four superintendents are still lying vacant.

�The Guwahati Central Jail is the only prison where CCTV cameras are installed although the number is far from adequate, given the area of the jail premises. We still do not know whether or not the other prisons would ever be brought under CCTV surveillance,� sources told this correspondent.

Earlier, the plan was to cover all the other jails in a phased manner, starting with five other central jails in Nagaon, Jorhat, Tezpur, Dibrugarh and Silchar.

A senior Assam Police official, when contacted, said, �We have seen in the past how criminals have tried to turn the jails to their advantage. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that many jails have virtually turned into a breeding ground for criminals. It is baffling and difficult to comprehend why the government is dillydallying the project.�

Meanwhile, another official of the prisons department claimed that the board to appoint the jailor would soon sit to fill up the vacant posts, although the official refrained from setting a timeline.