Mangaluru: During the interactions with the media persons, ADGP in-charge of Prisons-Alok Mohan had said that chances of weapons getting into the prison could be through the killers’ accomplices scaling the eucalyptus tree that is in the prison outside compound, with its branches overhanging the prison compound hall. It could be this tree- but if you look around the surroundings of the prison wall, there are more 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.
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, there are still no CCTV’s installed. How dumb one could be not to have security cameras in such a troubled prison, where hardcore prisoners are jailed.
And finally, after two recent murders and bunch of fights inside the city jail the concerned authorities have planned to install CCTVs soon- but one will have to keep their fingers crossed until these cameras are really installed. Sources reveal that there are plans of shifting the present jail to a 63.89 acres acquired by the district administration at Cheluru and Kurnad Villages in Bantwal taluk, and an additional 41 acres was in the possession of KIADB. But there are politics played behind this shifting- because some of the higher authorities in the department citing that if the prison is moved to the outskirts of Mangaluru, there will be more travel expenses and extra security personnel cost incurred while escorting under trials to courts and back to the prison.
When asked by a reporter about the fate of the eucalyptus tree which might have been used to drop weapons inside the prison compound, Alok Mohan had replied, “Wait and watch for a week.”. Meaning to say the tree would be chopped down within a week? But chances are that tree lover activists may raise their objection and halt the killing of the tree. Even 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.
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.