Maharashtra: Toeing Israeli line, state to put power fences around all jails

Mumbai,Naziya Alvi Rahman: In the wake of the recent jail break in Nagpur, the home department has decided to put up power fences around all 40 prisons across the state. Rs 13 crore has been allotted for the purpose, and the Police Housing Corporation will carry out the work.

Devendra Fadnavis

“Wires in the fencing will carry high voltage electricity and will be monitored through a central monitoring room. As soon as there is any disturbance, an alarm will alert those in the monitoring room. It’s a foolproof technology, which will make incidents like jail breaks impossible,” said a senior home department official.

Sources in the department revealed that the idea was conceived recently, when the department officials visited Israeli prisons on a study tour. “There are several other interesting measures installed in Israeli prisons that we may eventually adopt for our jails. But as fencing is the simplest and quickest to work on, we are starting with it,” the official added.

The department is expected to hold a meeting with the housing corporation officials on August 28 to discuss the dates for issuing of tenders and setting up of the monitoring rooms. Sources said that during the Israel visit, another thing that caught attention of the Indian officials was the training provided to prison guard dogs. In Maharashtra prisons as of now, dogs are used only to detect entry of drugs.

“They also train their security staff about how to interact with the dogs using signs and signals. Also, they have separate teams of commandos to do different jobs. For example, one team is responsible only for guarding the prisons. Another team would do frisking, and so on,” the officer added.

Israel’s security system had caught the attention of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, when he visited the country earlier this year. It was at that time that he invited senior officials from various security companies of Israel to discuss technical upgrade in Maharashtra jails. In March this year, five criminals fled from the Nagpur jail after climbing the boundary wall.