Nagpur, Dec 22: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today informed the State Legislative Assembly that his government will take help of the Israel government in strengthening the security system across the prisons in the state.
"The Consular General of Israel met me the other day here and discussed the security cover for jails and the Israel assistance will begin with Central Prison in Nagpur," Fadnavis said in the Lower House.
Replying to Trimbakrao Bhise (Congress), Fadnavis admitted that there were many challenges in maintaining tight security in jail premises.
The Chief Minister said the jammers installed in the jail premises were not functioning in most effective manner because the jails were mostly located in residential premises and there are mobile towers in the vicinity.
Fadnavis also admitted that there was insufficient security staff and vacant posts (at the jails) were not filled all these years. He said now his government has decided to recruit the prison security staff on priority and also treat jail security personnel on par with the state police.
"The recruitment of police and jail staff will be conducted simultaneously", Fadnavis said while acknowledging the requirement of additional manpower for effective manning the jails.
Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (Congress) said that the home department was not functioning effectively due to non-availability of a Minister of State for Home who is in charge of jail. Jayant Patil (NCP) said that since most of the jails are full to capacity and a huge amount was spent on transporting accused and criminals to local court.
"And therefore there was a need to start a jail exclusively for those who have undergoing imprisonment and does not require frequent appearances in the courts", Patil added.
Fadnavis welcomed Patil's suggestion for such a jail outside city limit meant for imprisoned inmates but said this number if not a big one but his government will consider it. "A new jail manual was introduced after over three decades," he added.
Earlier in a reply, Minister of State for Home, Ranjeet Patil informed Chagan Bhujbal (NCP) and others that four mobile phones were recovered from the Nashik jail.