Prison in Kerala are spots for poachers, liquor makers

The sprawling premises of an Open Prison at Nettukaltheri on the outskirts of Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram is turning out to be a favourite spot for poachers and illicit liquor makers.

The 274-acre premises is close to a deer park and is also close to the Neyyar Forests. Hence the presence of deers and wild pigs is attracting poachers to the area.

Last week the police received information regarding some illegal activities in the isolated areas of the prison. On a subsequent search, a gang of poachers fled the scene leaving behind the country made weapons, including a gun, used for hunting.

Close on the heels of detecting the poaching activities, the prison authorities noticed a gang involved in illicit liquor brewing happening in the prison. The police subsequently nabbed the gang, which showed the involvement of notorious local in several such cases.

Local people said that earlier also there were instances of criminals making the sprawling campus a safe hideout as it was not well guarded. About 200 reformed prisoners from other prisons are kept at the Open Prison. Hence the authorities did not give much significance to the construction of compound walls. The prisoners are engaged in various jobs like farming on the premises.

Sub-inspector S Sreekumar of the local police station said that the wire fencing of the sprawling prison premises worn out at many places and hence the anti-socials could easily enter the premises. So far there was no evidence of any connection of the prisoners with the illegal activities.

The Open Prison superintended Sunil Kumar said that in the wake of the present developments, steps would be insured to protect the compound from illegal entry.

 

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