GUWAHATI, June 24 � The State government continues to remain in a deep slumber over the existing security mechanism in prisons even after 10 brazen incidents of jail-break have taken place in the last couple of years or so.
Already hit by over-crowding of inmates, prisons in Assam are now facing an acute shortage of guarding staff, which for many is one of the prime reasons behind such frequent security breaches in jails.
Some of these jail-break incidents in the last couple of years were reported in Karimganj, Hailakandi, Silchar, Barpeta, Hamren and Jorhat, official sources told The Assam Tribune.
At present, prisons of Assam are facing shortage of 114 guarding staff, 30 assistant jailors, 27 head warders and five chief head warders. All these posts are directly related to maintenance of vigil in and around the jail premises.
Sources said that besides acute shortage of guarding staff, a number proposals related to improvement of vigil, such as setting up of watch towers, heightening of boundary walls, installation of close circuit television cameras and provisions for video conferencing between jails and courts have also not found the home department�s approval.
It has been reported that some jails are even functioning without a jailor, although no official confirmation could be gathered to verify this.
Tuesday�s incident of jail-break by four inmates in Diphu � two of them are facing murder and extortion charges � has once again exposed the hollow claims of the home department as far as security in State jails is concerned.
Under the existing scenario, the home department�s call to improve vigil in jails has appeared as an eye-wash to many.
�They tend to wake up only after the damage is done. Tuesday�s incident has crossed all limits,� a retired Assam Police official stated.