Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) has advised Jammu and Kashmir government to deploy Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF) in “every aspect” of prison security after a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant escaped police custody during his visit to a hospital earlier this week. The development came after a high-level meeting was convened by MHA to discuss Pakistani militant Naveed Jatt, who was lodged in Srinagar central jail, before he escaped custody with the help of militants eventually resulting in killing of two police officials.
Officials privy to developments of the case said the state government has been asked to deploy CRPF officials inside prison facilities and also involve the paramilitary force during transportation of inmates and other important duties. “Usually CRPF is posted at the outer perimeters of prisons for providing security however we have asked state government to give them additional duties that will include frisking, checking prisons and providing transportation for inmates,” a senior MHA official said.
Until now, all the prison related matters were looked over by the state police alone and the armed battalion of J&K police looks over transportation of inmates. A senior home ministry official said that besides the state government being advised to review and enhance security measures in place in jails, it is also being considered that inmates who are in jail for militancy related activities be dispersed and sent to prisons outside Srinagar to Jammu, especially those from Pakistan.
“Prisoners from Pakistan, who number 17 at the Central Jail, are likely to be dispersed after seeking court approval,” the official said. Director General of Police SP Vaid said that he will ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future.” We will heed to direction by the Centre and state government and make sure incidents do not take place in future.”
The state government transferred Director General of Prisons S K Mishra and appointed Dilbag Singh in his place. The Srinagar jail superintendent has been suspended and a high-level enquiry by the divisional commissioner has also been ordered.