Liquor, mobiles, blue films – in Uttar Pradesh jails


Lucknow : Surprise raids on different jails across Uttar Pradesh have brought forth the shocking revelation that liquor, cigarettes, narcotics, the best of food items and blue films were available to the prisoners.

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The Mayawati government had Saturday directed all district magistrates and district police superintendents to carry out surprise simultaneous raids in different parts of the state.

"You name the luxury and you would find it in quite a few jails of UP," remarked Principal Home Secretary J.N. Chamber.

"Yes, we have found that everything – even blue films were being made available to influential and moneyed under-trials – for a price," said the official. Besides, TVs, DVD players, cigarette lighters, stoves and cell phones were seized from some places.

The jails raided so far were in Lucknow, Sultanpur, Kanpur, Etawah, Varanasi, Faizabad, Meerut, Mirzapur, Ghaziabad and some of their adjoining districts.

"Since it is a continuing process, more districts were to follow over the coming days," he added.

Chamber said: "Already we have discovered prohibited material in 23 of the state's 60 jails." He saw this as a result of a "blatant nexus between jail security personnel and the inmates".

What left the authorities dumbstruck was the presence of contraband material in the Lucknow district jail that is regarded as the most well administered of all Uttar Pradesh prisons.

While a detailed report on the raids together with recoveries made was being prepared, the state government is to take stern action against the authorities including some senior jail officials. "Sure enough the kind of things we have come across during the raids were not possible without the active connivance of those who are supposed to enforce the law in jails," he added.