From 5 star treatment for terrorists to radicalisation, what ails the Srinagar Central jail
There was a certain amount of obscenity that was revealed following the big NIA raid at the Srinagar Central jail on Monday. Mobile phones, iPods, sim cards, documents were among the things that were seized. Ironically, the jail which is buzzing with terrorists also had a Pakistan flag and a Hizbul Mujahideen poster in it.
Apart from the 5-star comforts that have been made available to the prisoners, especially the terrorists, this jail is nothing but a full-fledged radicalisation centre. The inmates have first-hand information of the infiltrations and what is worse is that terror strikes are plotted from this jail.
The security mess up in the jail came to light following the escape of Naved Jhut, a Pakistani national. The escape was plotted inside the jail and then came under the scanner the fake medical reports he had managed to obtain. He escaped from a hospital where he was taken for a routine check-up.
A report was prepared following the escape. It was found that at least 300 mobile phones were being used inside the jail. According to a state intelligence report, which was submitted to the state home department, nearly 300 mobile phones are operational within the jail premises which has become a den for the radicalisation of youths lodged for petty crimes.
The mobile phones are easy to use since the mobile jammer installed in the jail by Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) has not been functioning. "The technology adopted by the ECIL appears to be obsolete. The jammers are no longer able to block any signals or mobile phones.
On radicalisation, the report said "the sermons are given on Jehad. The basic tenets of religion are overlooked and the emphasis is laid on radical aspects. Such religious sermons have a deep psychological impact on inmates and youth in particular who develop an inclination towards joining militancy or getting recruited as overground workers (for militants)," the report said.
There is no segregation of prisoners and people arrested for charges under terrorism or separatism are treated with a higher degree of respect by the inmates. "The inmates are allotted barracks based on their affiliation of (terror) organisation," the report said, adding the decision is taken by old prisoners themselves.
It said the jail, which is expected to act as a correctional facility, is "instead of being used as a place of religious indoctrination and militant recruitment". "It is being observed that even petty criminal who spend some time in jails are today coming out as highly indoctrinated individuals with religious motivation to support or even join militant ranks." Mishra, who is at present posted as chairman-cum-managing director of Jammu and Kashmir Police Housing Corporation, said: "segregation of high profile militants is unachievable in central jail Srinagar because of very poor and old structure". Anyone can go to any barrack and intermingle and listen to the sermons in the barracks, he had replied.