Criminals rule in Chhattisgarh jails, says Congress

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Raipur, Dec 16 (UNI) Opposition Congress in Chhattisgarh today expressed serious concern over the jailbreak in Bastar, in which 300 prisoners, including Naxalites, escaped, and alleged that criminals were ruling the roost in all prisons across the state.

''Anarchy is prevailing in all the jails. Mobile phones and narcotic and psychotropic substances are freely available in almost all the jails,'' Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee President Charandas Mahant and Leader of the Opposition Mahendra Karma said in a joint statement this evening.

Mr Karma, who is spearheading ''Salwa Judum'', an anti-naxalite movement in Bastar, said the Dantewada prison was one of the most sensitive jail in the state.

''The state government did not take intelligence inputs seriously. It did not provide adequate security arrangements in the jail,'' he added.

The leader of the opposition said the incident clearly indicated that ''Maoists were in a position to strike wherever they want and the state government was not taking the issue seriously.'' In the past, prisoners had escaped from the jails at Ambikapur, Katghora, Mahasamund and Gariaband, he pointed out, saying today's incident was one of the major jailbreak in the country as more than 300 inmates had escaped.

Demanding resignation of Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam, the Congress leaders demanded setting up of a high-powered committee to study and make recommendations to beef up security measures in the state prisons.

UNI

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