The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an advisory to states and union territories asking them to set up new and separate prisons, outside the city area, for housing only terrorists. MHA added, till the time separate jails are being built, movement of high-risk prisoners should be restricted inside jails to stop them from indoctrinating other prisoners. The Home Ministry’s suggestion has come in the wake of reports received from central security agencies.
In a letter to all state governments and union territories, the Ministry said there is an immediate need to decongest the jails by setting up security prisons for terrorism accused outside the city. “If that is not feasible, then very high risk prisoners and other under-trial prisoners under the category of terrorist/ security suspects are required to be segregated effectively from the ordinary prisoners within the complex of central and district jails,” wrote Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry, Kumar Alok.
The ministry said the level of security within a prison has to be categorised in terms of risk to prisoners for better security, strict monitoring of activities of visitors as well as prisoners inside the jail premises, and also in transit outside.
It also asked for appointment of adequate number of jail staff to manage and supervise prisoners’ activities, installation of CCTV cameras, mobile jammers with state of the art prisoners’ surveillance system to manage the present prison security challenges to be shared with all concerned as per their need. Regular security classification protocol to be enforced strictly for screening and risk assessment of the prisoners, quarterly review of such classification by a committee comprising of representatives of magistrates, police, prison, and prosecution are some other advices.