| Shillong jail |
Shillong, July 26: Meghalaya police are keen to introduce video-conferencing facilities for prisoners instead of presenting them before magistrates or police for interrogation.
Meghalaya director-general of police (prisons) Kulbir Krishan told The Telegraph that a proposal was submitted to the Union home ministry during a recent meeting with the officials in Delhi.
Explaining the need for the video conferencing, Krishan said the undertrial prisoners were often taken out and produced before the courts.
“But if we have the video conferencing facilities in the jails, the prisoners need not be taken out. They can remain in a special room with video conferencing facilities to answer the queries of the magistrates,” he said.
“This has been introduced in some of the prisons in Mumbai and I am not aware if this system has been set up in the Northeast,” he added.
“We are proposing to set up the video-conferencing facilities at the Shillong and Tura jails and the cost for the facilities will likely be around Rs 1 crore,” he said.
Under the current system, the prisoners are taken out in special vehicles under tight security to be produced before court every now and then.
Several policemen travel with the undertrial prisoners when they are taken out.
“By introducing video conferencing in the jails, there is no security risk involved, compared to the routine of taking them out of the jails very often. Moreover, this will save time and the security personnel need not be involved,” Krishan said.
The controversial mix-up case involving two undertrial prisoners, Rusith Sangma and Deepcharan Kaipang, is an example of the laxity on the part of security personnel, which led to Kaipang’s escape and his subsequent replacement with Sangma.
Kaipang, an accused in a murder case, probably escaped after he was taken out of Shillong jail and Sangma was substituted in his place some time in 1994.
The CBI probed the case and found 10 officials, including a few from the Shillong jail, responsible for the mix-up.
The jail officials feel that the safety of the prisoners will be ensured when the video conferencing facilities are introduced.
The proposal for video conferencing and other modern facilities was necessitated following the Shillong jailbreak on May 31.