Kerala jail DGP shifted after Cong face-off

The issue had pitted the Congress government in Kerala against jail DGP Jacob,an IPS officer.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: December 7, 2013 3:56 am

Kerala’s prisons chief Alexander Jacob was shunted out Friday after he made public statements on the issue of CPM-backed undertrials enjoying freedom in prison.

The issue had pitted the Congress government in Kerala against jail DGP Jacob,an IPS officer.

Earlier this week,the government was in the dock over reports that a seven-member gang facing trial in the murder of CPM rebel T P Chandrasekharan had been leading a comfortable life in jail — with outside food,liquor,smartphones. They were also active on Facebook.

The Congress cornered Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan on the issue,alleging he had made a secret deal with the CPM.

Under pressure,Radhakrishnan ordered a probe by the DGP (law and order),the Home Secretary and Alexander Jacob into allegations against the ‘supari gang’,suspected to be involved in several political murders.

But before the committee could submit a report,Jacob went public and said the use of mobile phones and Facebook by the prisoners could not be proved scientifically.

“Someone might have deliberately planted the Facebook row to influence the judge hearing the murder case,” said Jacob.

He also claimed jails were understaffed and the government had not responded to demands for more recruitment. He said even though details of the phone calls from jails had been handed over to the Intelligence Bureau,no action was taken.

Following Jacob’s statements,Congress leaders demanded Jacob’s removal from the post. Radhakrishnan said he had communicated his displeasure over Jacob’s press conference and sought an explanation from him. Jacob was removed after Radhakrishan said his explanation was not satisfactory.

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