Lucknow: In order to keep a tight vigil on inmates lodged in all the 67 jails in the state, the Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to equip the prisons with high-tech surveillance equipment.
The state government is planning to equip all the jails with high-tech equipment like mobile phone jammers, CCTV cameras and metal detectors to check the recurrence of incidents like the recent gang war in Mathura jail, which left one inmate dead and two others injured.
"We have to ensure that the incident like Mathura is not repeated and for this we are planning to install high-tech security equipment in all the jails, starting with the sensitive ones," Principal Secretary (Home), Devashish Panda told PTI.
"We hope that in one year we will be able to keep effective vigil on the activities of all notorious criminals lodged in various jails with the help of these measures," he said. On January 17, firing between rival criminals in Mathura jail had left a notorious criminal dead and two others injured. Besides, there had been dozen odd incidents of violent clashes between inmates and jail officials in the past three years.
Regretting that access to mobile phones in jails was helping notorious criminals to carry on their nefarious activities outside, Panda hoped these steps would put a check on them.
Work on installing CCTV cameras was already underway in 23 sensitive jails for monitoring the activities of inmates and those visiting them and the boundary walls of 36 jails were being raised, he said.
"The shortage of jail staff is another problem for which a scheme is being worked out," he said, adding that 11 new jails are being constructed and the inmate capacity in the existing ones in being increased by 25,000.
To improve the internal communication system in the jails, wireless devices were being provided to the jail staff.
Besides this, equipment to facilitate court hearing of the inmates through video conferencing in 32 jails has also been considered which would be taken to other jails later.
Panda said that efforts were also on to provide better facilities to the jail inmates like installing RO (reverse osmosis) plants, solar panels and proper prison vans to take them for hearing or medical treatment.
To help prisoners communicate with their families, inmate PCOs were being set up to enable them to talk for a specific period on a weekly basis, he added.