Naveed’s escape: MHA evolves prison management policy for JK

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Srinagar, Feb 27: Following the escape of Lashkar-e-Toiba militant, Naveed Jhatt from SMHS hospital last month, the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has drafted a list of six long and 23 short-term measures for jails in Srinagar, including segregating separatists, Pakistani and Kashmiri militants from other inmates.
According to a report, Home secretary Rajiv Gauba has personally sent the official communication to the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government on February 13.
“Some of the long-term measures include the construction of staff quarters on the jail premises, establishment of e-courts, holding trials through video conferencing, and the introduction of ‘special courts’ in jails to expedite trials of Pakistani prisoners. The ministry has also recommended shifting the Central Jail in Srinagar to the outskirts of the Valley, and bulletproof vans for transporting inmates,” said the report.
It also states: “As part of the short-term measures, the ministry has asked the state government to introduce a system of cross-frisking under which all visitors, including security forces, will be searched in the presence of CRPF troopers, J&K police officials and jail staffers. Similarly, the staffers will be frisked by the security forces”.
“The ministry has also recommended that the security agencies conduct frequent raids in prisons and ensure militants and separatist elements don’t mingle. The state government has also been asked to vigorously contest court orders requiring prisoners to be lodged near trial courts,” the report said.
Some of the other measures, according to the report include banning the use of mobile phones by staff and visitors on jail premises, stricter visiting hours, establishing separate entries for men and women visitors and the effective management of the prisoners’ mess, to stop individuals from cooking food.