Pune: State Prisons Department Initiates Measures to Curb Violence, Organized Crime in Maharashtra Jails

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Pune, 13th January 2024: In a proactive move to address rising concerns of violence within prison premises, the state prisons department has directed jail superintendents in Maharashtra to compile profiles of criminals engaged in organized crime, naxalism, and terrorism. The aim is to segregate and monitor these individuals effectively, minimizing the potential for rioting and violence.

On Friday, Additional Director General (Prisons) Amitabh Gupta stated, “Following a meeting on January 3 to review the law and order situation in state jails, prompted by a murder at Yerawada Central Prison on December 28, 2023, we have instructed officials to prepare profiles of criminals involved in various activities. This includes those from organised crime, naxalism, and terrorism. Segregation is necessary to prevent the formation of groups and criminal conspiracies within jails.”

Gupta highlighted that nearly 1,200 members of 70 organized crime syndicate gangs, arrested by Pune police under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, and 66 other dangerous criminals detained under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act, were housed in Yerawada Central Jail. He emphasized the need for relocation to disrupt their bases and deter the formation of groups that may lead to criminal activities.

“To address overcrowding, we have already shifted 80 inmates and 15 criminals from congested jails to less crowded ones as a preventive measure. A committee has been formed to propose the segregation of undertrials held in magisterial/judicial custody for more than 90 days. This step is crucial not only for maintaining security but also for preventing medical issues among inmates,” Gupta explained.

The official also highlighted disciplinary measures, stating that privileges such as canteen access, phone calls, and physical meetings with relatives for undertrial prisoners, along with remission benefits for convicts, would be withdrawn if they were found violating prison discipline. Offenses like smuggling phones, sim cards, and narcotics would be dealt with strictly under these new guidelines.