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Himachal

Posted at: Dec 8, 2017, 1:22 AM; last updated: Dec 8, 2017, 1:22 AM (IST)

Prisoners’ escape: Dept hastens to install CCTV cameras

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 7

In a typical case of proverbial “shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted” Himachal Prison Department is speeding up the process of installation of CCTV camera in all the jails after three under-trial prisoners escaped from Kanda jail yesterday.

Although the negligence on the part of sentries on duty is apparent, another fact that has come light is that there were no CCTV cameras in the Model Jail, Kanda, except at entry and exit points and no watch on the activities of the inmates.

The state police department is hastening the process of installation of CCTV camera in all the jails. “A budget of Rs 2.5 crore was already sanctioned for the purpose and 50 per cent advance payment was also made to the State Electronic Corporation”, DGP Somesh Goel said. “The work had been initiated and cables were already laid in Kaithu jail”, he added.

During the security audit of prisons conducted in 2015, it was found that there were no arrangements for lighting, Door Frame Metal detector (DFMD) and walkie-talkie. As a follow up, generators were provided, DFMD were installed, walkie-talkies were provided in all jails for mobility and the work for installing the CCTV was awarded.

“We have requested the Electronic Corporation to complete the entire work within two months. Further, there is a problem of manpower which is far short of the prescribed norms of the Home Ministry”, he added.

So far there was no trace of three under trial prisoners Lila Dhar Kharak, alias Lalit, Pratap Singh and Prem Bahadur, alias Prakash, all hailing from Nepal, who broke the jail in the intervening night of December 6 and 7 and escaped.

All these prisoners were booked for heinous crime like rape and murder and the police have launched frantic search operations and sealed the borders with Haryana and Uttarakhand to nab the fugitives but of no avail.

Strict vigil is being maintained on all entry points and vehicles and people are being searched. The police have clues that these prisoners have not been able to sneak outside the state.

Sources said that they were spotted near Jubbarhatti. Some locals informed the police but by the time the police reached the spot they had shifted to some other location. However, there was no confirmation from police of the version. The police have intensified the search in the nearby areas and was hopeful of arresting the prisoners.

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