Vigil 'deliberately relaxed' in prison during weekends

Vigil 'deliberately relaxed' in prison  during weekends

The daredevil escape of serial killer Jaishanker from Parappana Agrahara prison has made it clear that all is not well at the high-security jail. According to sources in the prison, vigil was ‘deliberately relaxed’ during the weekend, which the criminal took advantage of.

According to some officials, Jaishanker began his preparation for the escape around eight months ago. A superintendent of prisons, who retired recently, had repeatedly alerted his colleagues about the motive of Jaishanker.

“He began behaving suspiciously eight months ago. We found a pair of police constable’s uniform next to his cell. When inquired, he said it did not belong to him. Once he even had a haircut like a policeman. We stepped up the vigil and every morning and evening we used to visit his cell and make sure he is there,” said a prison official, on the condition of anonymity.

Some prisoners borrow old uniforms from constables to use as night dress, while some with intentions like Jaishanker’s steal them, when they are given for washing at the prison.

Sources said that to facilitate Jaishanker’s plan, some staff would leave for home early and ease the vigil on weekends.

“During weekends, prison authorities share the bribe money received from some of the criminals, all the while neglecting their duty. They go out entrusting security to a few cops.

The money is be collected from small-time offenders and shared among the higher officers. Inmates such as Sudhakar Gowda from Shimoga and Bhatta from Udupi would collect money from their fellow mates and deliver it to the authorities,” a source said. Jaishanker’s escape on Sunday corroborates the weekend theory.

Additional Director General of Police (Prisons), Gagan Deep, was not available for comment.

Cellphone haul

The prison authorities seized as many as 2,000 cellphones (including two dozen high-end models) from the inmates between April 2012 and February this year.

According to sources, mobile phones were recovered from small-time criminals and they were used by habitual criminals and underworld dons in the prison. “Serious offenders do not keep phones with them and give them to small-time offenders.

When we catch them using mobile phones, they go to the extent of threatening the authorities,” said a highly placed source here. Some of these expensive phones were recently handed over to Central Crime Branch for investigation, according to a top official.

Vishwanathaiah, DIG (Prisons), told Deccan Herald that in the two days that he led the probe into the jailbreak before it was handed over to Principal Secretary (Home), he was not able to establish the exact sequence of events and the circumstances that led to it.
He said some officials brought to his notice that a khaki uniform was seized from a cell close to that of Jaishanker’s. However, he added that he could not confirm it.

When questioned about the lax security in the weekends, he said corrective measures would be taken and those found guilty would be punished.

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