Two years ago, ex-prison chief told Madhya Pradesh govt: Jail vulnerable, many gaps, how long will God help

Former Madhya Pradesh IG (Prisons), G K Agarwal, had sent the letter a few months after the jailbreak in Khandwa in late 2013 when six SIMI activists had escaped.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Updated: November 2, 2016 12:26 pm
bhopal simi, simi, simi activist, simi activists killed, bhopal jailbreak, bhopal jailbreak simi, congress simi, india news, indian express, Police personnel guarding outside Bhopal Central Jail in Bhopal. (PTI Photo)

THE MADHYA Pradesh government had been warned in 2014 by a retired jail official about the “vulnerable points, illogical security arrangements and deplorable condition of staff” at Bhopal Central Jail, from where eight activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) escaped on Monday and were later killed in an encounter.

Former Madhya Pradesh IG (Prisons), G K Agarwal, told The Indian Express that he had written the letter to the then state chief secretary, Anthony Desa, on June 26, 2014, and marked copies to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the Intelligence Bureau.

WATCH VIDEO: Here’s What Ex-Prison Chief Told MP Government Two Years Ago

But nothing came of the warning, said Agarwal, even though he had sent the letter a few months after the jailbreak in Khandwa in late 2013 when six SIMI activists had escaped.

Ex-IG (Prisons) G K Agarwal sent letter to chief secy Ex-IG (Prisons) G K Agarwal sent letter to chief secy

Agarwal said that he had also sought a meeting with authorities to offer suggestions on how to prevent such incidents from occurring in Bhopal or other jails, but got no response.

In the letter, Agarwal wrote: “At present, SIMI activists from other prisons have been kept in the Bhopal Central Jail. But given the structure of the jail building, its vulnerable points, illogical security arrangement and deplorable condition of staff, it would be wrong to presume that everything is OK if no major incident takes place. God is helping but it would a mistake to presume that he will continue to offer help.’’

Agarwal said that the letter had been forward to the jail administration at the time. When contacted, DG (Jail) Sanjay Chaudhary told The Indian Express that he was not aware of the letter.

“Given my experience, I thought it was my moral duty to apprise those in power about the situation,’’ said Agarwal, who retired in 2000.

He declined to specify the “vulnerable points” mentioned in the letter, but said that “the way the jail was built, there are many”.

“After the Khandwa jailbreak, I realised how easy it would be for SIMI activists or other hardened criminals to escape, given the way the jail department functions,” said Agarwal.

WATCH VIDEO: Bhopal Jailbreak: 8 SIMI Activists Killed In Encounter

The retired officer alleged that the jail administration was hampered by staff shortage, which was compounded by the posting of several guards at the residences of senior prison officials.

On Monday, police said that the SIMI activists escaped around 3 am from the Central Jail after killing a head constable by slitting his throat using spoons and steel plates, and tying up another guard before crossing a wall using a rope made of bedsheets. Several guards were on leave when the jail break occurred, said officials.

On Tuesday, police said that a dedicated unit had been formed to provide round-the-clock security at the barracks where SIMI undertrials and other hardened criminals were lodged. A senior officer told The Indian Express that some of these activists had tried to escape in the past, too, but that bid was foiled.

Agarwal had previously raised questions over the state’s handling of its jails after it suspended a jailer for releasing five SIMI activists as part of the BJP government’s amnesty scheme in 2011 for prisoners who had completed half their terms and whose conduct was certified as “good”.

The five had been serving their term in Khachrod sub-jail and were among 600 prisoners released across the state on January 26 that year. They were re-arrested after protests by Bajrang Dal and VHP workers.

The state government later amended the scheme, excluding those convicted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other serious crimes.

Agarwal had defended the jailer, who faced a departmental inquiry, and argued that he was suspended for implementing government orders while senior officers got away with transfers. The government later revoked the inquiry.

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  1. W
    With.blessings
    Nov 2, 2016 at 1:03 am
    That letter is fake. To fool people.
    Reply
    1. A
      Amar Akbar
      Nov 2, 2016 at 5:14 am
      4 Sunni Muslim Groups Responsible for 66% of All 17,958 Terror Killings in 2013, 80% in 2014 and 95% of all terror kiIIings in 2015. This is the religion of peace.
      Reply
      1. J
        JM
        Nov 3, 2016 at 5:33 am
        Two unarmed policemen to guard against these 8 beasts? They would have been much safer had they been thrown inside lion's cage. I am sure other surviving police man will face full force of the law for dereliction of duty while his seniors will enjoy their 'suspension' treating this as a paid holiday!
        Reply
        1. B
          BALU
          Nov 3, 2016 at 11:42 am
          at the first order, escaping from a jail having extreme height of walls that too by rope of bed sheets!! it is unbelievable. however, a thorough and an impartial probe without interference of political leaders/parties b commissioned and the investigation b completed not less than thirty days. after all, our country is the largest democracy in the world !! Balu
          Reply
          1. D
            dd
            Nov 2, 2016 at 12:25 am
            Few years ago people recommended to BAN IE....Thse are just a time p news..
            Reply
            1. D
              Deeply Concerned
              Nov 2, 2016 at 1:27 am
              Abhe Ameat Shah, first plug the gaps internally in jails, and then talk about borders, else plug the gap in your mouth
              Reply
              1. D
                Deeply Concerned
                Nov 2, 2016 at 1:28 am
                And we have to believe an like you
                Reply
                1. D
                  Deeply Concerned
                  Nov 2, 2016 at 1:30 am
                  Who are Bajrang Dal and VHP to decide who goes to prison??? This is definitely a murder of justice and Modi is perpetrating such crimes by not appointing judges who are honest.
                  Reply
                  1. H
                    harun
                    Nov 2, 2016 at 2:45 am
                    The irony is none is willing to ask Questions about the bvious failure of the State Govt.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Non working CCTV cameras,a Home Minister who gives conflicting versions about the weapons the 8 had and used ,a jail Minister who after the Jail break presumes that the CCTV Cameras were not working and accepts failure,The CM who is yet to sack the Jail Boss.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;It is unprecedented that the Jail Boss is heard saying on TV that if u have 8 SIMI activists in one jail this is bound to happen.But is not sacked.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The CM has rewarded the cops involved in the Encounter,why has he not sacked those who allowed the 8 to get away.His own Jail and Home Minister confess that this could not have been possible without Jail authorities bieng complicit.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Attacking those asking Questions and ignoring Role of those responsible for the lapses which are obvious is no way to Investigate a case such as this.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Why has no FIR been lodged by the Jail authorities,only then a Judicial scrutiny is possible.
                    Reply
                    1. H
                      Himanshu Himanshu
                      Nov 2, 2016 at 4:38 am
                      Few things are evident in this incident. There is no way that those 8 could escape if not for 'inside help'. No matter how lax the security, you cannot just escape with sharpened spoon against a w lot of policemen with guns. Then tying bed sheets to climb and get across a 35 feet wall is way too filmy for me. The knots need to be that good and bed sheets themselves need to be strong. These two things are possible. But still, can you just throw those tied bed sheets for 35 feet? Even if somehow you do, can you get a perfect leverage to support weight of all the people? Not likely unless the wall was designed to provide such anchorage, which I doubt. Then, someone has to be on top, to first tie the rope-of-bed-sheets and then lower it to people below.lt;br/gt;It all may still make sense if it was a coordinated and planned mission of MP police to eliminate those 8 by facilitating their escape and then killing them outside the jail. However, the question that comes to mind is: why not kill them more subtly by food poisoning, illness, accident in the jail etc.? Much better and unquestionable ways of doing all this.lt;br/gt;Normally, I am not a supporter of conspiracy theories, but this is far too unbelievable for me to digest.
                      Reply
                      1. N
                        narang
                        Nov 2, 2016 at 12:29 am
                        Why that officiall did not anything? Instead of telling gov't he should hv plugged gap.
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          Mayur Panghaal
                          Nov 2, 2016 at 3:14 am
                          Two years ago...a chaiwala sold jumlas via his paid media network.lt;br/gt;Thankfully,we will have another shot in 2017.
                          Reply
                          1. V
                            Vihari Naidu
                            Nov 2, 2016 at 4:02 am
                            lol, this shows how the government didn't change a bit and enabled the escape of under trials....
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              Anand Ch
                              Nov 2, 2016 at 12:33 am
                              Then why is it touted as most secure jail ?
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Sangeeta Pole
                                Nov 2, 2016 at 2:10 am
                                It is time that every officer/Authority,exercises his or her authority justifiably to avoid delays in good governance.lt;br/gt;Gajanan Pole.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Sangeeta Pole
                                  Nov 2, 2016 at 2:05 am
                                  This is a very peculiar situation where the authorities having been given the. Necessary controlling powers! , they do not. Exercise the same but always look up to the still higher authority.Authoritative powers should not mean shifting the responsibilities of the post.The philosophy of " some body would do your job" should be done away forthwith.lt;br/gt;Bananas Pole.
                                  Reply
                                  1. V
                                    Vedic_Citizen
                                    Nov 2, 2016 at 12:53 am
                                    Make separate prison for Jihadhis and terrorists
                                    Reply
                                    1. U
                                      U N
                                      Nov 2, 2016 at 3:34 am
                                      I think PM Modi should read the letter above from Ex DG Prison Bhopal to chief secretory and Dogal explaining situation of prison. But nothing has been done .It can been seen how MP govt functions under influence of Bajrang Dal and explain to the people of India .Thanks to NHRC for taking cognizance of incident on which MP govt ordered CID probe
                                      Reply
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