One clip shows canteen staff selling provisions to inmates in a set-up akin to a shop
Central Prison, Parappana Agrahara, is once again in the news after old video clips, showing a rowdy living a rather princely life inside a cell, and prison canteen staff selling provisions to inmates, started doing the rounds on social media.
Some of the clips show accused gangster Narayana sitting in a cell furnished with a fan, television set, a cot and multiple remotes and other paraphernalia strewn around. This, while he was in judicial custody three years ago, said sources. He is seen talking to a prison staffer, handing over cash and giving him a set of instructions.
While the Home Minister has ordered a probe and the Chief Minister has sought for more details, sources in the prison department said that an enquiry had been conducted when the clips first came to light in 2019. It was found that four prison staff members who had allegedly borrowed money from Narayana were involved in the racket. They are yet to be reinstated.
“These video recordings date back to July 2019 when Narayana was in judicial custody. He was released on bail the next month in August 2019,” a source in the prison department told The Hindu.
Another old video clip circulating on social media shows canteen staff selling provisions to inmates in a set-up akin to a shop. One of the inmates had recorded the video on his mobile phone and circulated it .
Sources admitted that in this instance, provisions from the Government itself to sell essentials like soap, toothpaste, etc to inmates shad been misused. “There are provisions for inmates to get newspapers and home-cooked food, but they have been misused. Canteen staff were found selling eggs, and action was taken. Since then the rules for the canteen have become more strict,” said a source.
Promise of strict action
Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said he has ordered an inquiry into irregularities at Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru.
Speaking to the media in Shivamogga on Tuesday, the minister said he had taken note of media reports about the irregularities at the prison. During his visit to the prison, he had interacted with the inmates and collected information from them. “Prisons should not become centres for criminal activities. I have instructed officers to take stern action against those responsible for irregularities, he said, adding that he would hold a meeting with senior officers on his return to Bengaluru.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he would seek a report from the Director General of Prisons on Tuesday itself and issue directions for strict action to be taken.
Director General of Prisons Alok Mohan has initiated a probe into the incident and also on why the videoes resurfaced again.
In July 2021, the Central Crime Branch of the Bengaluru police conducted massive search operations at Central Jail. Teams recovered weapons such as daggers and knives, marijuana mobile phones and SIM cards from inmates. According to the police, the surprise raids were carried out after the CCB received information that gangsters were carrying out illegal activities from inside the prison.
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