| Protesters at the Shillong district jail on Saturday. by UB Photos |
Shillong, Sept. 29: The employees of Shillong district jail observed a ceasework to press for the immediate removal of director-general (prisons) Kulbir Krishan, charging him with alleged highhandedness.
Krishan, however, countered the charges by stating that his determination to enforce discipline, following the detection of financial and other irregularities, instigated the employees to observe the ceasework.
“He (Krishan) is creating a reign of terror here (Shillong district jail), and the employees are being mentally tortured,” Michael Dympep, an employee, told reporters at the district jail courtyard.
He also alleged that Krishan had allowed Rotash Kumar to enter the jail premises, including the high security ward where only authorised persons are allowed to go in.
“He (Kumar) claims to be a deputy superintendent of police from Haryana,” another employee said.
“Kumar comes inside the jail complex whenever he feels like. On August 21, Kumar came to the jail at 8.30pm and he forced me to open the gate. But when I refused, he rang up the DG (Krishan) and the DG ordered me to allow him (Kumar) to go inside the jail,” Purno Sangma, a jail guard, said.
Moreover, the employees alleged that Krishan would use them for his personal work at his residence.
At the same time, the employees admitted to have raised the salary of the casual employees without the knowledge and concurrence of their director-general.
According to the directive, the salary of the casual employees would have to be calculated for a period not more than 20 days in a month.
“But based on humanitarian grounds, we increased the salary of the casual employees from around Rs 8,000 to around Rs 14,000. The salary is also calculated taking into account all the days of the month since they (casual employees) work everyday,” an employee said.
Of the 70-odd employees in the district jail, around 16 are casual or officiating employees.
Moreover, Sangma said, on that fateful night Kumar also took away some files from the office with him.
Krishan brushed aside the allegations, and went on to point out serious allegations relating to financial and other irregularities.
“When corrupt practices are stopped, people become agitated,” he said, speaking to reporters at his official residence.
Krishan said in July this year, he unearthed financial irregularities which were occurring in the jail, following which the then jailor James Marbaniang was transferred to Williamnagar.
Recently, Marbaniang was suspended, he said.
“The auditing team from the office of the accountant general has also wanted to conduct a second audit in view of the irregularities in the cash book and stock register,” Krishan said.
The employees claimed that in June, even the auditing team was content with the financial matters of the jail.
On Kumar, he said the person was his casual driver and he utilised him to conduct checks inside the jail premises.
Moreover, Krishan said some of the staff were claiming house rent allowance even when they were living in government quarters.
The officer added that so far, no one from among the employees has ever come to him with genuine grievances.
Krishan, a 1976 batch IPS officer, took over as the state director-general (prisons) in 2009.
Today’s ceasework was the first of its kind in the last three years that he has been in the top post.