Nepal | May 29, 2020

DoPM installs CCTVs to boost security in jails

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, February 20

The Department of Prison Management has installed adequate number of closed-circuit televisions in as many as 15 prisons of the country.

According to the DoPM, it aims to increase surveillance to prevent incidents of jailbreak and other potential crime inside the jails. Officials said the Central Jail, Dillibazar Prison, Nakhu Jail, Jhapa District Prison, Morang District Prison, Majwanpur District Prison, Chitwan District Prison, Kaski District Prison, Rupandehi District Prison, Nawalparasi District Prison, Kapilvastu District Prison and Banke District Prison were equipped with surveillance cameras.

The Central Jail, the oldest prison in the country, was equipped with 30 CCTVs to put its entire premises under the coverage of visual technology. Police officials and the jail administration monitor the activities of inmates and prisoners through a computer connected to the cameras. Central Jail and Dillibazar Prison are vulnerable to jailbreak due to old infrastructure. The 104-year-old central prison houses around 2,800 jailbirds, including high-profile prisoner Charles Sobhraj.

Tika Bahadur Thapa Magar aka Sagar, 30, had escape Dillibazar Prison by scaling a barbed wire fence of the facility on January 28 last year. Tika Bahadur was arrested for his involvement in more than a dozen property crimes. Later, he was nabbed from Chitwan after being shot at. In October last year, a British inmate escaped Nakhu Jail. However, Mukadur Hussain, who was doing time on the charge of overstaying visa, was nabbed later.

Officials said the installation of high resolution CCTV cameras would also ensure transparency and safety of the inmates and prisoners. Surveillance cameras are expected to act as a third eye of the jail administration and police, and deter the jailbirds from committing crime behind bars.

In March, 2011, Yunus Ansari was shot at by Manmeet Singh, 42, of Bareilley in Uttar Pradesh state of India in the high security Central Jail. Ansari was doing time in the jail in connection with possession of fake Indian currency and contraband drugs. He, however, survived the attack and police arrested the shooter.

The Integrated Report on Custody and Prison Monitoring, 2018, released by the Office of the Attorney General and many other reports had urged the government to arrange essential services as guaranteed by the constitution and prevailing laws, increase the daily allowance of jailbirds, implement the concept of ‘open prison’, instal CCTV cameras, ensure the access of prisoners and detainees to justice, review the existing prison management procedure, establish library and provide sufficient textbooks and vocational training to them, among others.

Similarly, the DoPM said new prison buildings had come into operation in Makawanpur, Kapilvastu, Dang, Dhading, Jumla and Sindhupalchowk. Capacity of Jhapa, Sunsari, Rautahat, Ramechhap, Kavre, Kathmandu, Kaski, Surkhet and Bardiya prisons have been upgraded. Likewise, five buildings in Dolakha, Sarlahi, Bajhang, Palpa and Dolpa will come into operation within the current fiscal.

According to statistics released by the DoMP January 13, as many as 21,183 jailbirds are doing time in prisons throughout the country.


A version of this article appears in print on February 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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