New Delhi, Nov 2: A retired jail chief warned the Madhya Pradesh government in 2014 regarding the “unacceptable condition of staff, vulnerable points and illogical security arrangements” at Bhopal Central Jail.
Earlier on June 26, 2014: Former Madhya Pradesh Inspector General of Prisons, GK Agrawal wrote a letter to the state chief secretary at that time – Anthony Desa – following the jailbreak in Khandwa in late 2013 when six Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) members escaped.
Eight members of banned SIMI group, on October 31st, were encountered as they tried to escape the Bhopal Central Jail. Reacting to this incident, Agrawal said that nothing came out of the warning he stated in a letter asserting the poor management of the jail.
He informed that earlier he asked for a meeting with the authorities to provide points on strengthening the poor management so that incidents like these shall not occur in Bhopal or other jails but he got not response regarding the same.
In the letter, Agarwal wrote: “At present, SIMI activists from other prisons have been kept in the Bhopal Central Jail. But given the structure of the jail building, its vulnerable points, illogical security arrangement and deplorable condition of staff, it would be wrong to presume that everything is OK if no major incident takes place. God is helping but it would a mistake to presume that he will continue to offer help.’’
The letter was published by Indian Express:
He denied elaborating on “vulnerable points” mentioned in the letter. However, he said that “the way the jail was built, there are many”.
“After the Khandwa jailbreak, I realized how easy it would be for SIMI activists or other hardened criminals to escape, given the way the jail department functions,” said Agarwal.
The ex-prison chief asserted that hindrance in jail administration was caused by staff shortage and the same was worsened by the posting of several guards at the residences of senior prison officials.
The police with regard to the recent encounter on Monday said that then eight SIMI member who escaped slit the throat of a constable using spoons and steel plates as weapons. Many guards were on leave when the jailbreak occurred.