KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 20
The Department of Prison Management has installed adequate number of closed-circuit televisions, walk-through gates and metal detectors in all 74 prisons across the country in a bid to boost their security and prevent possible jailbreak.
According to a three-monthly report released by the DoPM, the installation of CCTVs will also enable the prison authority to check potential crime inside jails.
The Central Jail, Dillibazar Prison, Nakhu Jail, Jhapa District Prison, Morang District Prison, Makawanpur District Prison, Chitwan District Prison, Kaski District Prison, among others, were equipped with surveillance cameras.
The Central Jail, the oldest prison of the country, was equipped with 30 CCTVs to put its entire premises under the coverage of visual technology.
Police officials and the jail administration monitor the activities of inmates and prisoners through a computer connected to the cameras. The Central Jail and Dillibazar Prison are vulnerable to jailbreak due to old infrastructure. The 105-yearold central prison houses around 2,900 prisoners, including high-profile convict Charles Sobhraj.
Tika Bahadur Thapa Magar aka Sagar, 30, had escape Dillibazar Prison by scaling a barbed wire fence of the facility in 2018. Tika Bahadur was arrested for his involvement in more than a dozen property crimes. Later, he was nabbed from Chitwan after being shot at. Recently, a British inmate escaped Nakhu Jail and was nabbed later.
DoPM officials said the installation of high resolution CCTV cameras would ensure transparency and safety of inmates and prisoners. Surveillance cameras are expected to act as a third eye of the jail administration and police, and deter jailbirds from committing crime behind bars.
In March, 2011, Yunus Ansari was shot at by Manmeet Singh, 42, of Bareilley, Uttar Pradesh state of India in the high security Central Jail. Ansari was doing time in the jail in connection with possession of fake Indian currency and contraband drugs. However, he survived the attack and police arrested the shooter.
Meanwhile, the DoPM informed that it had established connection between nine prisons and courts through video conferencing system for trials of inmates. After the prisons are equipped with this facility, police are not required to transport inmates of sub-judice cases to the concerned court for short hearing. It will also end the chance of possible escape of inmates from the court premises. Prison facilities where such system has been set up are the central Jail, Dillibazar Prison, Nakkhu Jail, Mahottari District Prison, Jumla District Prison, Sankhuwasabha District Prison, Tulsipur Prison, Ramechhap District Prison and Ilam District Prison.
The Integrated Report on Custody and Prison Monitoring, 2018 released by the Office of the Attorney General and many other reports had urged the government to arrange essential services as guaranteed by the constitution and prevailing laws, increase the daily allowance of jailbirds, implement the concept of open prison, install CCTVs and technologies, among others.
A version of this article appears in the print on November 21, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.