Holding High Profile Prisoners: Jails in Punjab Put on High Alert

Holding High Profile Prisoners: Jails in Punjab Put on High Alert
Punjab Inspector General of Prisons Mian Farooq Nazeer on Monday issued instructions to all officers, officials, wardens and other staff at prisons across the province to remain alert among heightened security threats and not to leave jail premises without permission from the relevant authorities, The Friday Times has learnt.

In a letter circulated by IG Nazeer, a copy of which is available with The Friday Times, the provincial prisons chief says it has been observed with great concern that officers generally leave the jail premises after their duty hours. This act, he stated, could become the cause of a serious threat to jail security apart from putting the lives of these officers/officials in jeopardy.

"Many instances have been reported when officials are going home after duty hours on their motorcycles [who have] suffered accidents/dacoity on the road, especially at night," the letter read.

It further stated that jails are often left with inadequate security staff, which is a cause of concern in the event an emergency arises at any of the prisons.

This is "altogether unacceptable", the letter read.

IG Nazeer directed through the circular that in the future, no officer/warden will leave jail premises without permission from the relevant authority.

"The permission so granted will be in emergency only," the circular maintains.

It further stated that in case these instructions are not followed, the superintendent of the relevant jail will be personally held responsible along with the deputy superintendent (E) and Lines Officer of the facility and they will be persecuted accordingly.

It is pertinent to mention that circular was issued by DIG (Inspection) on behalf of IGP Prisons Mian Farooq Nazeer and sent to superintendents of all jails in Punjab with the request to ensure the compliance of all the directions and check the availability of officers/wardens through regular roll-call apart from surprise and scheduled visits of jails in their respective regions.

The writer is a senior correspondent at The Friday Times with a focus on politics, economy and militancy.