The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jail staff blow whistle on sleuth escorts
- Gabbar liquor lapse not unique, say warders

Officials of the three central jails — Presidency, Alipore and Dum Dum — are up in arms against city sleuths for regularly flouting the laws regarding the security of convicts and undertrials while escorting them to court.

Last Tuesday, Presidency jail authorities prevailed on commissioner of police Sujoy Chakaborty to reprimand and fine three cops for supplying liquor to gangster Gabbar, alias Rashid Khan, while taking him to Bankshal court in a police jeep.

“Treating it as a grave offence on the part of city policemen, I lodged an FIR with Hastings police against the cops when Gabbar returned dead drunk from court. I did not re-admit Gabbar to jail in protest, and, instead, got him transferred to Alipore Central jail,” jail superintendent S. Hussain said on Sunday.

Hussain said they were unnecessarily dragged into a controversy when two years ago, a deaf and mute girl was allegedly raped in a police van on her way to court. “We were blamed for it. We did not take any chances this time and took up the matter with the local police station,” he observed. The issue has been referred to the court, with the policemen denying rape in transit.

Echoing Hussain, the superintendent of Alipore Central jail said such incidents happen regularly with policemen escorting convicts to courts from jail. “We overlook the offences when they relate to petty criminals, but we cannot do so when it involves a criminal like Gabbar. We got him medically examined to confirm that he was drunk,” said another official of Presidency jail. The incident had caused “much resentment” among jail inmates.

Deputy commissioner of police (Reserve Force) Ranbir Kumar, overseeing the deployment of policemen to escort prisoners in three city-based central jails for production in court, admitted that the three policemen were hauled up.

The prison authorities are working on a proposal so that jail warders can accompany prisoners to the court from jails, along with city sleuths.

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