Retired IPS officer Vibhuti Narayan Rai, who was SP, Ghaziabad, at the time Maliana riots, has written an article on the crime syndicates flourishing in jails today. On the basis of a friend’s experience, he reveals that the monthly income of a district jail in western Uttar Pradesh is more than ₹1 crore. VN Rai has not mentioned the name of this jail, but it’s very clear that he is talking about Dasna jail.
Situated between Masuri in Ghaziabad district and Dasna village, with walls as high as 21 feet, this high-profile jail continues being mentioned in the news frequently. Built with the capacity of 1,704 prisoners, Dasna jail now keeps more than 42,00 prisoners. The most influential prisoners of Uttar Pradesh are found here, including the well-known Talwars from the Arushi murder case, Pandher, an accused in the sensational Nithari murders, some powerful leaders and influential officials. The money spent in these jails is allegedly collected from these big shots in the name of providing comforts and various facilities.
According to sources, an average of one lakh rupees per person every month are spent on providing them with home-cooked meals, mineral water, comfortable bedding, LCD and servants, etc. That is why this jail is considered to be a money-making machine. This jail comes under high security category and UP’s additional DGP (prisons), Chadraprakash, says that the security scenario is much better here in this jail.
While there are reports of criminal activities happening in many jails of Uttar Pradesh, Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar jails top the list. As Muzaffarnagar has been in the news, attention has been paid to it in the last few years. As Baghpat has become a favourite prison for some caste offenders, so there has been deputation of infamous officers
Amid claims of Dasna jail being a secure one, Ravindra Pradhan (May 30, 2008), an accused in Kavita Choudhary murder case, Shakeel (June 19, 2009) an accused in the Pilakhuwa bomb blast, and Ashutosh Asthana (October 17, 2009), implicated in Nazarat scam, among others are suspected to have been murdered here.
With the murder of gangster Munna Bajrangi in Baghpat jail, the issue of the crime syndicates being influential in these jails has once again sprung up. It is being discussed openly that UP’s jails have become a den for operating criminal activities and big criminals are freely increasing their influence from these prisons, with jail administrations hand-in-glove with these criminals.
While there are reports of criminal activities happening in many jails of Uttar Pradesh, Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar jails top the list. As Muzaffarnagar has been in the news, attention has been paid to it in the last few years. As Baghpat has become a favourite prison for some caste offenders, so there has been deputation of infamous officers.
Like the jailer Uday Pratap Singh, who has been suspended from Baghpat Jail for behavioural misconduct for the third time. According to jail sources in Bagpat, Sunil Rathi was ruling the Baghpat jail for the last few years. There has been no record of who came to meet Sunil Rathi inside the jail.
His everyday food would come from his home. Sunil’s barrack was like a hotel room. Now the mattress and LCD has been removed from the barrack. In this deserted area between the Subhanpur forest, Sunil Rathi's influence will increase inside the jail.
Uttar Pradesh Jail Minister of State for Jail Jay Kumar Jaiki has stated in the past that bahubalis should not feel safe anywhere. Now the recent news report is that Mukhtar Ansari has begun his fast in Lucknow jail. Ansari has said that he will not eat anything until his security arrangements inside the jail were tightened.
Indeed, most of the criminals in the state are still running their empire from prisons.
There has been interference from the powerful inside the jail and in a place like Baghpat, the power these syndicates wield becomes ever more starker. You can imagine how the jail administration of UP works by the fact that 47 jails in the state are deprived of CCTV cameras.
The jammers installed inside some jails have failed. Baghpat Jail doesn’t have CCTV cameras. Prisoners are doing internet calls from jail, which the police is unable to track, as the jammers cannot catch 4G network. That is the reason why selfies are being uploaded on Facebook from within the jail. It is a different matter altogether that these facilities are just for some 'special' people.
(Translated into English by Pragati Saxena and Zaheeb Ajmal).
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