Post-jailbreak, Indo Tibetan Border Police to guard jails in Madhya Pradesh

BHOPAL: Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) may take over security of jails in the state in a move that is aimed at tightening security after the Bhopal jailbreak incident in October last year.

Eight SIMI members had escaped from Bhopal central jail after murdering a jail guard and tying other on Octorber 31. All eight of them were gunned down later on city outskirts, in a police encounter. The incident prompted the state government to go for a reality check of security of jails. Jail department officials pointed that they have drafted a proposal to deploy a company of ITBP to beef up the security. ITBP will take over the security part while the administration would remain with jail department. If implemented, it would be the first of its kind step for security of jails in the state.

Officials said ITBP would be primarily deployed in Bhopal central jail since 21 SIMI men are still there. Depending on the need, ITBP can be deployed in other parts of the state as well.

Officials said the proposal has been cleared by the jail department and sent to finance department for approval. The money required for the setup is around Rs 50 lakh, which is within the budget of the authorities. The proposal is expected to get clearance from the finance department within a month, after which the jail headquarters will contact ITBP to complete the remaining formalities.

MP government is also coming up with Anda Cell for dreaded criminals on the lines of Yerawada jail in Pune. Anda Cell would take time, but deployment of ITBP will be done in coming months.Poor security arrangements had left the government red-faced after Bhopal jailbreak. There were only 35 jail guards for over 3,200 prisoners in Bhopal central jail when the SIMI men escaped. More chinks in the security were exposed in the aftermath of the jailbreak. It also came to fore that cell searches weren’t conducted properly. How could the SIMI men turn their steel plates into weapons ?

Officials said the eight undertrials had as many as seven such blades, one of which was used to attack jail guard Ramashankar Yadav before the escape.