Mangaluru: KSISF Personnel should guard the City Prison ‘Surroundings’ also and not just the ‘Entrance’

Mangaluru: It has happened many times in the past and it has happened once again lately- with the police confiscating contraband articles, mobile phones, and other illegal articles from the under trials lodged in the Mangaluru District Prison. And due to this Director General of Police (Prisons) H N Sathyanarayana Rao during his visit to the prison yesterday (Tuesday, 2 February) briefing the media persons has said that Karnataka State Industrial Security Force (KSISF) personnel will be put on duty to frisk visitors prior to their entry into the prison to meet their loved ones or friends.


He had also said that orders will be passed in the coming days allowing KSISF personnel to check on every visitor that enters the prison, including himself if he decides to go in. It should be noted that KSISF personnel were deputed at the prison following the murder of two undertrials in the prison on 2 November, 2015. But in spite of these personnel presence, still contraband articles have been smuggled into the prison. But it is indeed a good idea by DGI Rao’s to allow KSISF personnel to frisk visitors which will prevent illegal and contraband items reaching the hands of prisoners. Rao has also promised to install the much-awaited mobile jammers i the prison at the earliest, with contract given to Electronic Corporation Ltd.

Even though it’s a good initiative by DGI Rao to permit KSISF personnel to frisk visitors for any banned items while they enter the prison, but there are loop-holes from where these contraband articles could reach the undertrials, without the help of visitors that enter through the main gate. If you look at the location of the Prison, it is not at all secured-with its compound wall (not too high) very close to the road side, and if you look around the surroundings of the prison wall, there are so many trees with their branches spread out very close to the prison compound wall, where anyone could climb these trees and throw objects over the wall into the old prison premises (The pictures in this report will give the clear picture).

District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) office/building which is adjacent to the prison wall, has bunch of trees with its branches reaching very close to the old prison wall- not only trees, one can even throw objects/drugs/weapons from the DIET building which is not far from the prison wall- also there is a dilapidated toilet in the DIET compound which is also very close to the prison wall, where one can get on top of it and throw anything into the prison compound- and since the prison wall is not too high there are good chances that objects could be thrown over this wall from outside. The DIET compound has been so neglected it looks like a forest- and trouble makers or accomplices of these jail inmates can hide in these thick bushes, specially when its dark and carry out their activities. Even if the prison authorities decide to cut these trees, but according to few staff at the DIET said that trees inside their compound may not be axed down since the land belongs to government, and forest department may not allow to chop these trees which are in the DIET premises. Has the DIG (Prisons) looked into these issues?

Not only the trees could help in getting objects inside the prison compound hall, also that the prison wall which is not so high and located very close to the road-chances are that anyone could get on top of a bus or a lorry and throw objects like drugs, weapons etc. This prison is in a bad location without proper surrounding security. It’s indeed strange to note that in spite of so many fights and untoward incidents taking place inside this prison in the past, still there are no proper CCTV’s installed. How dumb one could be not to have security cameras in such a troubled prison, where hardcore prisoners are jailed. DIG Rao has also promised to install better and more sophisticated CCTVs in the nearest future- but one will have to keep their fingers crossed until these cameras are really installed.

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DIG Rao has also said that work on the new prison building located on a 63 acres land near Konage, in the outskirts of Mangaluru will start in few days, and PWD has been asked to start the work soon. Although the state government has allocated Rs 2 crore for the project, a proposal for additional funds will be submitted in the forthcoming State Budget, added Rao. The new prison will be built according to the norms of Central Prison, and will house nearly 1000 inmates-there will be high security cells, enclosures for women and sheds for convicted persons to engage them in skilled and semi-skilled work.

On the other hand, the state government and other concerned officials, including the home minister are neglected about all the illegal activities going on here- there are blaming each other. But no matter what, this prison which was built in 1904 during British time, when there were only 150 prisons- and now with the increasing number of criminals being lodged in this prison without proper security, it’s advisable that the prison be moved quickly to a better and safer locality-preferably away from the city.. If not we will be seeing many more fights, may be even more deaths inside the prison, and also many contraband articles will make their way into the prison.

From behind bars:

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