Security tools in Punjab jails obsolete, says reform panel

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Old 06-Jul-2010
Security tools in Punjab jails obsolete, says reform panel

Chandigarh, July 5

The Punjab’s Jail Reform Committee, headed by Justice Amar Dutt, has asserted the security equipment in the state prisons was outdated.

In an interim report placed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s Division Bench of Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Ajay Tewari, the committee asserted: “The weapons in jails are outdated and would be of hardly any help. The security in the Punjab jails needs immediate attention. Security must be beefed up in jails, which house people in conflict with the law”, Justice Dutt’s report adds.

The HC had constituted the committee last year for suggesting measures to improve the conditions of jails. It had submitted the internal report on the same, which was taken up by the Division Bench today. The report said the staff was not trained to handle latest riot-control equipment. The jail staff, otherwise, was predominantly equipped with musket and a mussle-loading gun, first used in 1912 and weaned out by the Army before 1942.

Other weapon in use were .303 rifle first used before the World War II and is no longer in use. Single sten-gun being used had also been replaced , the report said.

The committee recommended immediate replacement of musket and 303 by 5.56 SLR as these were easy to handle. Also, 7.62 SLR, carbines or AK 47 should be provided; and suggested introduction of rubber bullets in the jails.

The metal detectors in all 27 jails were found to be non -functional and dumped in stores. The hand held metal detectors could also be used effectively, not only for checking arms, but also the mobile phone chips, the report suggested.

The report said during previous visits to Patiala and Ludhiana central jails, sewerage were blocked. The committee expressed desirability of getting the blockage removed on priority.

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