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200-metre loophole in Thane jail security

At a time the Mumbai Police department is upgrading security in the wake of the 26/11 attacks,police personnel given the task of transporting inmates of the Thane Central Jail...

At a time the Mumbai Police department is upgrading security in the wake of the 26/11 attacks,police personnel given the task of transporting inmates of the Thane Central Jail to and fro courts are fuming about the distance of the armory from the jail premises. They say it is not only irksome,but also poses a security threat.

The jail,one of the major prisons in the state,is provided prisoner escort duty by the Local Arms unit located at Marol in Andheri.

Senior Police Inspector Nandkumar Mistry from the Local Arms unit at Marol whose responsibility is to organise the transportation of prisoners to the courts and bring them back after their court appearance said,“The jail armory,where the weapons used for escorting prisoners are stored,is 200 metre from the jail. Every time we have to undertake prisoner escort duty,we have to walk to the armoury,collect the weapons,come back and then handle the task of bundling the prisoners into vehicles to take them to courts.”

Another official from the unit said on the condition of anonymity,“Besides inconveniencing the police personnel,there are security worries because of the whole arrangement. In the event of any attack on the jail,we would not have any weapons handy to repel the attack. In such a scenario,we have to walk 200 metre to get our weapons.”

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The same official said,“Earlier,many officers had send applications to the administration requesting that the armoury be relocated inside the prison. But it has not been done.”

When contacted,Jail Superintendent SN Chavan said,“Details like location of the armoury and its accessibility are security matters and I cannot comment on it. Besides,the armoury is the responsibility of the Local Arms unit at Marol.” DCP Ashok Deshbhartar (Marol LA Unit 4) was unavailable for comment.

First published on: 31-03-2009 at 10:40:10 pm
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