Shifting of prisoners from Jammu and Kashmir to outside the Union Territory is a purely administrative exercise undertaken due to overcrowding of jails, Director General Prisons, H K Lohia, said here on Saturday.
Lohia was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at Central Jail Srinagar.
“It (shifting of prisoners) is an administrative matter. If the prisoners in a jail are more than its capacity, then some of them have to be shifted outside. For that process, all parameters are checked.
“But, it is not like we cannot deal with the radicalisation here and we have to send them outside where it can be dealt. So, it is an administrative exercise at best,” the DG Prisons said. He was responding to a question over the reports of 150 detenues having been shifted to jails outside J-K after they were allegedly found involved in “radicalising other prisoners”.
Lohia said radicalisation inside jails was not a serious issue, and the department was taking care of it.
“Radicalisation happens when their minds are filled with poison. Also, if they have suffered something wrong, then the chances of radicalisation are more. So, we have to keep that in mind and we have to keep them engaged with various constructive activities like we have music camps etc., here. “An idle mind can have such thoughts, but, if there are such elements, then we have their treatment and, we counsel them as well. So, it is not a very serious issue, but yes, we take care of that also,” he said.
On the issue of jailed militants being able to communicate with their network outside the prisons to carry out certain activities, the DG Prisons said while such incidents cannot be denied, “it was not like a free highway” and the department was taking preventive measures.
“If we say that every prisoner talks on phone like it is a free highway, then it is not like that. You experience poor network outside (jails) and you should understand the situation inside the jails.
”So, these are narratives which are being built … Things are under control, but yes, it cannot be denied completely and whatever measures are required to be taken to curb that, we will take,” he added.
Lohia said jails are like hospitals where the prisoners are treated to make them better.
“Jail is a correctional place. Our endeavour is that those who leave from jails, do not return to them. We give them vocational training as well so that it helps them in their future life. We have taken a number of steps, several initiatives to provide them better facilities and we will continue to make better arrangements for them,” he said.