'kitchens' serving pizzas in jails destroyed: Govt

Jails in Punjab, notorious for supply and consumption of drugs, have now earned the dubious repute of running ‘private kitchens’ for gangsters lodged inside and ‘powerful’ inmates.

Jails in Punjab, notorious for supply and consumption of drugs, have now earned the dubious repute of running ‘private kitchens’ for gangsters lodged inside and ‘powerful’ inmates.

Many inmates have helpers who cook and serve the food of their choice. The jail authorities are privy to recent instances of pizzas being ordered and delivered in the jail. A ‘powerful’ inmate would hold a “public court” in the room of a jail official. Birthday cakes also have been ordered in the jails, violating all the jail rules.

The government has finally woken up to smell the coffee. Punjab Jail Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said he has ordered the demolition of all such ‘private kitchens’ in the jails. The probe is on over the possibility of jail officials partnering with powerful inmates, as these things don't happen without inside knowledge.

In the last two years, ever since the Congress government under Amarinder Singh took charge after a decade of SAD-BJP rule, the noose has been tightened around gangsters in Punjab. Many have been arrested and are now cooling their heels in jails. But their notoriety continues even behind bars.

Punjab gangsters have been active on social media like Facebook while in jail. There have been cases of them flaunting photographs of celebrations inside prisons. These gangsters, ironically, enjoy a sizable number of followers on social media, especially among the youth who flaunt their allegiance to bad boys.

Jails in Punjab are high on drugs. HIV, Hepatitis-C and TB are leading to the death of inmates in jails. According to a study conducted by Amritsar Medical College, department of forensic medicine and toxicology, these three diseases had caused 22% of deaths.

Randhawa maintains that he has cracked the whip and is hopeful that things will improve. The minister was under fire over the recent spate of violence in Punjab jails.

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