Shoot-out: Officers connived with prisoners, say Ministers

on toes: Minister for Social Welfare and Prisons A Narayanswamy discussing with ADGP (Prisons) Kuchchanna Srinivasan, after inspection at Central Prisons of Mysore, on Saturday. DH photos

Following the shoot-out at Central Prisons of Mysore that left an undertrial injured, Social Welfare and Prisons Minister A Narayan Swamy and Medical Education and District In-charge Minister S A Ramdas visited the jail on Saturday.

Narayanswamy who took stock of the situation, especially pertaining to the security aspects, told media that the unholy nexus between some staffers in the prisons and others was the cause of the incident. To bring in some orderliness, the minister said that he would be collecting details related to the official SIM cards issued by the department to the staffers.

If the staffers are found possessing multiple Sims, they will be severely dealt with suspension.

“There are reports that the staffers here have been helping the inmates with cell phones for communicating with their (prisoners) near and dear ones”, the minister added. He accepted that the jammer is not fully functional, with 25 per cent of the snag it has developed, besides luggage scanner and door framed metal detectors. He announced that one more jammer will be installed.

Taking note of the previous complaints that, the graveyard behind the jail has become a channel for the prisoners to receive prohibited articles inside like-cell phones, ganja among several others, the minister said that two private security guards assisted by the local police will keep a tab at the burial ground from Saturday night. The minister, who was accompanied by ADGP (Prisons) Kuchchanna Srinivas, said he is waiting for a report from the officer for further action.

Earlier, Minister Ramdas who went around the jail was of the same opinion- officers have colluded with the vested interests that helped smuggling of gun into the jail. The height of the compound will be further increased, besides connecting power to the fence, and several other safety measures to check the recurrence of the incident. The minister visited the cell, where Beththangere Seena, the shoot-out victim was put up.

He also tasted ‘chapathi’ and curry prepared for lunch, during his inspection.
Recalling that he had previously visited the jail once, owing to a complaint, the minister said ‘the prisoners themselves had disclosed names of corrupt officers’.

Police Commissioner Sunil Agarwal said that the investigation into the incident is underway and enquiry of jail staffers is expected to begin from March 14.

Beththangere Seena, an undertrial facing murder charges, was allegedly attacked by another inmate Balaji Rao alias ‘Tibet’, on March 10. Balaji opened fire at Seena from the country made gun, he had acquired from a visitor a few days ago. Seena had suffered a bullet injury on his left arm. He is admitted at the jail ward of K R Hospital for treatment.

DCP (law and order) Basavaraj Malagathi, Chief Superintendent of the jail T H Lakshminarayan, Superintendent Mallesh and others were present, during the ministers’ inspection.

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