Mumbai: In the wake of the murder of a suspected Indian Mujahideen operative in the high security Yerwada prison, Maharashtra Government is preparing a set of directives to strengthen the security of jails in the state.
Sources in the Home Department said that the jail administration had been asked to beef up security and take preventive and corrective action if necessary.
"The guidelines for new directives will be ready by this week. In view of last week`s incident, we have to be cautious. The directives will be sent to jail superintendents in all the state prisons," sources added.
According to sources, vigorous checks were required and the need to classify prisoners according to their affiliations was stressed.
"Cell of the deceased Qateel Siddiqui, a suspected IM operative, named in three terror cases and that of the two accused was unguarded during the time of the incident," sources said.
Qateel was allegedly strangled to death inside the high-security Yerwada Central Jail here by inmates, identified as Sharad Mohol and Amol Bhalerao on June 8.
The state government promptly acted by suspending Jail Superintendent SV Khatavkar and ordering a CID probe into the murder.
26-year-old Siddiqui was named in Bangalore stadium blast, Delhi Jama Masjid firing case and an abortive attempt to bomb a temple in Pune. He had been remanded to judicial custody by a local court in a case filed by Maharashtra ATS, in which, he was accused of attempting to plant a bomb at the famous Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple in the heart of Pune in 2010.
Sources said there are approximately 22,500 prisoners in 42 prisons, including nine central jails across the state.
Besides the nine central jails, there are 13 district, 12 class I, 16 class II, and three class IV prisons.
The capacity of jails has exhausted and there are 2,500 additional inmates, they added.
Construction of district prisons at Sindhudurg, Jalna, Nandurbar, Gadchiroli, Washim and Latur are nearing completion while the government is scouting for land to construct district prisons are Palghar and Gondia.
"The capacity will increase by 2,100 after completion of six prisons," sources added.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Minister of State for Home Satej Patil said that home guards will be provided to the jail superintendents for security outside prisons, while the jail security staff can be moved inside.
"Prison superintendents have been told to shift jail inmates from their present locations if required as per the security needs," he added.