West Bengal: Amidst High Tension Between India And Pakistan, Pakistani Prisoners Shifted
With tension escalating between India and Pakistan, all prisoners from Pakistan have been shifted by Bengal to separate barracks and “high-security” cells for their safety. 14 prisoners in all, they are kept in the Dum Dum and Presidency jails.
There are ten prisoners in Dum Dum jail, three of whom are women and arrested for violation of Foreigners’ Act, and five have served their sentences and are awaiting release.
This decision was taken in the wake of the Pulwama attack, and hours after fellow inmates killed a 50-year-old Pakistani convict in Jaipur jail in Rajasthan. A protest was registered by the Pakistani government with India on this, ensuring that the ministry of home affairs alerts all other states.
Jail Minister Ujjwal Biswas said that at a time when the tension between the two nations is soaring high, the prisoners’ safety and security are being given paramount importance. Warders have been deployed outside the cells for 24 hours, and they are strictly monitoring the prisoners’ movements outside the cell too.
Inmates to be constantly monitored
“Strict instructions have been issued to separate Pakistani inmates from others following the incident in Rajasthan jail. They have been shifted to high-security cells, where heavyweight prisoners, such as those arrested for American Center attack and Maoists have been staying,” the official of West Bengal Correctional Services said, according to a report by India Today.
There are televisions inside all the jails which the inmates watch too, so Pakistani inmates are especially being monitored as others might turn violent knowing about the Pulwama attack and the tension at the LoC now.
According to sources in Dum Dum jail, five inmates who are from the same family of one Nabab Khan, are allowed to move out of the city only with adequate security cover. Ishant and Adira, who are his extended family, have also been put under special watch, reported The Times Of India.
Nayeem, Dilshad and Arshad are three Pakistani inmates who were involved in the Partha Roy Burman abduction case and are now serving life terms. They had been sentenced in December 2017.
An official said that the Pakistani inmates, for now, will not be allowed to move out of the sensitive zones. Most of the prisoners maintain a good rapport with each other, and some of them even claimed the Pakistani inmates’ security is their headache also. At the Dum Dum jail, the members of the same family are popular among others and have been staying in prison for the ling of time, but at this moment, no risk can be taken.
While some of the inmates were imprisoned for flouting visa norms, others were going to be taken to different correctional homes. There are other prisoners jailed for various other criminal activities.
According to a senior official, there is no special mention of a high-security jail in the Bengal Jail manual. Depending on what inputs jail superintendents give and considering the security requirements at the different correctional homes, specific jails are designated as high-security ones.
For the security of the 14 prisoners, a three-layered cordon has been set up, and the head warders and the chief warden are continuously monitoring the cells.