New Delhi: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), one of the armed police forces under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has taken over the security of Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu– a high-security Central jail in the Union Territory carrying over 900 prisoners that included some foreign nationals.
The security of the high-security Central jail was handed over to the CISF from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on October 20 and nearly 260 odd personnel of the force headed by a Deputy Commandant rank officer are deployed to provide inner as well as outer security cover at the jail. For years, the security of the jail was in the hands of the CRPF, another Central armed police force under the MHA.
On October 13, the MHA issued an order to the CISF to take over the security of Kot Bhalwal jail from the CRPF. This is the second prison of Jammu and Kashmir to be secured by the CISF–a paramilitary force with current strength of nearly 1.75 lakh personnel.
On October 3, the CISF also took over the security of Srinagar jail from the CRPF following an MHA order issued to the force on September 22 this year.
“The CISF took over the security of Kot Bhalwal jail from the CRPF on October 20,” CISF Deputy Inspector General (Operations) Shrikant Kishore said.
The CISF personnel are mandated to provide round-the-clock security at the inner as well as outer periphery of Kot Bhalwal jail– one of the two high-security Central jails in Jammu and Kashmir.
Srinagar and Kot Bhalwal jails of Jammu and Kashmir are very sensitive. Several dreaded terrorists and notorious criminals are lodged in these jails. There are over 900 prisoners in Kot Bhalwal and 500 in Srinagar jails.
There are 579 undertrials, 353 detenues and 67 convicts in the Kot Bhalwal jail, the source said, adding that “among these, 17 are foreign nationals.”.
At present there are thirteen jails of different types for lodgement of prisoners which includes two Central jails at Kot Bhalwal and Srinagar; eight district jails at Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Rajouri, Poonch, Baramulla and Kupwara and Leh and three sub-jails at Hiranagar, Reasi and Kishtwar. The total capacity for prisoners in these jails is 2,775.
With taking over security cover of Kot Bhalwal Central jail, the sensitive establishment is included in the list of India’s most critical infrastructure facilities like nuclear installations, space establishments, seaports, and power plants being secured by the CISF.
The CISF security umbrella also protects 67 airports, Delhi Metro, important government buildings and iconic heritage monuments. The CISF also has a specialized VIP Security vertical providing round-the-clock security to important protectees. Post the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008, the mandate of CISF was broadened to provide security cover to private corporate establishments also.
The CISF, which came into existence in 1969 to provide integrated security cover to certain sensitive public sector undertakings with a strength of only three battalions, has since grown into a premier multi-skilled organization with a present strength of 1,71,635 personnel.
The CISF at present provides security cover to 358 establishments through the length and breadth of the country. The CISF also has its own Fire Wing which provides services to 104 of the above establishments.