Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sanctioned 99 new posts for Model Jail, Burail, which is struggling with the problem of shortage of manpower.
The issue of shortage of manpower came to fore in January 2004 when three Babbar Khalsa International ultras — Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara and Paramjit Singh Bheora — managed to escape from the jail after digging a 94-feet tunnel.
The R C Gupta Committee, headed by former the Delhi police commissioner, which was formed to find out lapses and reasons behind the jailbreak, had in April 2004 recommended strengthening the staff strength at the jail by hiring permanent staffers in April 2004. The Union Territory administration had sent a proposal to the MHA, which had given an approval for hiring contractual employees in the jail in 2009.
IG (Prisons) O P Mishra said though the MHA allowed to recruit the staff members on contract basis, they were pursuing permanent staffers, including senior and lower-rank officers. “The R C Gupta Committee recommendations had been pending with the MHA for a long time. The 99 sanctioned posts of permanent employees include one deputy jail superintendent of Grade-1, two deputy jail superintendents, Grade-2, four assistant jail superintendents, two welfare officers, 49 warders, 18 head warders, seven counsellors and pharmaceuticals.”
A senior jail officer said the existing staff will get benefit of the new posts. “The promotions of several jail officers are pending. Jail inmates will also be benefited with the new posts. We have not enough psychologists, counsellors and medical staff members inside the jail.
Recommendation of the R C Gupta Committee for increasing the permanent staff was gathering dust in the MHA,” said the officer.
At present, the Model Jail staff strength is 153 – 103 permanent staff and 50 temporary workers. The UT prisons department was demanding 153 posts from the MHA, which agreed on 99 posts.