Security issue to spl prisoners at Chanchalguda prison

Chanchalguda prison, where high-profile undertrials allegedly involved in various multi-crore scams are lodged, is facing security cover issues.

Hyderabad: The Chanchalguda central prison, where several high-profile undertrials allegedly involved in various multi-crore scams are lodged, is facing issues like security cover to special category prisoners as well as space crunch.

Before the Satyam Computer scam surfaced in 2009, mostly ordinary criminals used to lodge in this jail, which is now accommodating high-profile persons allegedly involved in different multi-crore scams reported in Andhra Pradesh in the recent years, a prison officer said.

Presently, there are 11 high-profile undertrial prisoners including the YSR Congress chief and Kadapa MP Jaganmohan Reddy in this jail, he added.

Besides Jagan, former Andhra Pradesh Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkatrama Rao, former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, two suspended IPS officers BP Acharya and Y Srilakshmi, are among 11 high-profile prisoners allegedly involved in different scams.

According to the officer, following the Satyam computers scam, a majority of persons arrested by different investigating agencies in connection with various multi-crore scams have been obtaining special-class prisoner status and providing security cover to them had become a daunting task.

"We are finding difficulties in providing security to special-class prisoners while taking them to courts and bringing back after attending the court proceedings," the officer said adding, "However, despite difficulties, we are taking all the necessary precautions with the help of local police to provide adequate security to them."

All the 11 high-profile undertrial inmates have been accorded special class prisoner status by the court and the jail authorities are providing facilities to them as per the jail manual, he said.

A special category prisoner status entitles him to a special room, cooking facility, a cot, a table and a chair, among other things

However, besides the security issue, the prison is also facing a space crunch issue to some extent, an officer said.

While the jail has a capacity to accommodate about 700 prisoners following the construction of a new block, it presently houses 687 inmates, of which 49 are convicted ones, while the rest are undertrail prisoners, a senior prison officer said.

"We recently shifted some of the inmates to a newly constructed block inside the jail premises and we can accommodate another 40 to 50 inmates," he said.