Published On : Sat, May 9th, 2015

Did Nagpur Central Jail provide conducive conditions for escape of convicts ?

Lights not working on high-mast and in watch-towers

Nagpur: A month ago, five dreaded criminals escaped from Nagpur Central Prison by scaling the walls. This caused a lot of embarrassment to the prison officials and the police officials. With more than 30 days passed, still the cops are clueless about their whereabouts. The cops who were dispatched to other states based on information and clues have since returned back empty handed.

There are many factors that were very conducive for the escape of the five dreaded criminals. One very vital factor was the illumination of the prison premises. Sourced said that nearly 150 lights were dysfunctional at the time when the prisoners escaped. Only three lights out of 8 lights on the High Mast situated on the right side of the main entrance of the Nagpur Central Jail. The lights on the watch-towers too were dysfunctional. This had left the area practically in the dark. The criminals had used this favourable condition for their escape.

The dreaded criminals identified as Bisensingh Uikey, Satyendra Gupta, Prem Khatri, Golu alias Akash Thakur and Mohammed Shoeb could have used the lacunae prevalent then to escape the Nagpur Central Prison. However, their escape has brought about drastic changes and improvement in the Central Jail.

Nearly 150 new lighting arrangements have been made in place of the old one which was dysfunctional. The prisoners most certainly had utilized the area which was practically dark due to maximum dysfunctional lights.

According to sources in Public Works Department (PWD), most of the dysfunctional lights were located in the rear of the Central Jail. They added that wild grass and plants too abounds in this area. So wild are the plants and shrubs that one would be afraid to venture into the area even in the day time. PWD sources claimed that some of the lights inside the jail too were dysfunctional due to want of proper maintenance. However most of the lighting arrangements have since been repaired.

On the other hand the police authorities have also tightened their arrangements and have since put-up a temporary tent at the Nagpur Central Jail to monitor the situation outside the jail.

Better late than never

The Nagpur Central Jail authorities seem to have woken up from their deep slumber. They have replaced the old bulbs and lamps with Sodium Vapour lamps and Metallic Head-lights. All the dysfunctional lamps and lights on the watch-towers have been replaced with newer and more effective ones.

Onus of maintenance of lighting arrangements lies with PWD

The onus of maintenance of pylons and electricity poles lies with the Public Works Department (PWD). What is alarming is that when the lights, lamps were dysfunctional inside the jail, the jail authorities did not even bother to lodge a complaint with the Public Works Department.

One of the employees of PWD told Nagpur Today on condition of anonymity that till the dreaded criminals escaping the Jail authorities never sent the letter. However, as soon as the five dreaded criminals escaped from the jail, the Nagpur Central Prison authorities promptly sent the letter complaining about the dysfunctional lights. However, the escape of prisoners has become a boon for the jail and all the lightings and illuminating arrangements have been repaired. As of date, as soon as it becomes dark, the entire area becomes well lit and illuminated. Source said that with all the lamps on the high mast working, the entire jail premises are well lit. Many old and rusted poles have been replaced with newer ones. If the electricians who were replacing the lamps are to be believed, then, many of the lighting arrangements have not been maintained and wanted repairs for a long time.

Police clueless

Police is still clueless about the whereabouts of the escaped convicts. With many reshuffling of police department officials and many pro-active steps too, the escaped convicts could not be apprehended as yet.

Ravikant Kamble