Bihar draws up plans to prevent Maoist jailbreaks


Patna : The Bihar government has decided to shift Maoist prisoners periodically from one jail to another in the state in view of increased threats of jailbreaks by the rebels, official sources said Wednesday.

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“The decision was taken in the wake of the day-long siege of Patna’s high-security Beur jail by Maoist inmates recently,” senior prison department officials told IANS.

The sources say the decision is being taken to prevent the Maoists from organising themselves inside the jails. Maoist inmates have been creating trouble in the prisons on a regular basis, officials said.

“Patna’s Beur jail, Jehanabad, Gaya and Bhagalpur jails have witnessed trouble by Maoists this year,” officials said.

Over 800 hardcore Maoists are lodged in Patna, Muzaffarpur, Gaya, Bhagalpur and Buxar central jails of Bihar. Nearly 150 Maoists are lodged in Beur jail alone.

After the Jehanabad jailbreak Nov 13, the number of Maoist inmates lodged in district jails has been reduced considerably in view of the security threat.

Like other prisons in the state, Jehanabad jail and Beur are also overcrowded. The Jehanabad jail houses over 700 prisoners though it has a capacity for only 120.

In Nov 2005, Maoist rebels attempted a jailbreak at Jehanabad jail, prompting Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to order a revamp of all jails in the state that are vulnerable to Maoist attacks.

Officials admitted that jails in Bihar are plagued with problems like understaffing, overcrowding etc. As many as 48,000 prisoners are lodged in different jails against the total capacity of 21,745, officials said.