January 11, 2009 12:17:01 am
The LA Unit-4 of the Mumbai Police which is stationed at Marol in Andheri and is responsible for ferrying undertrials from Thane Central Jail to courts and back to the jail is a beleaguered lot nowadays. So much so that they say prisoners at the Thane Central Jail are better off.
For the 200-odd numbers of police personnel,lack of basic facilities like rest rooms coupled with back-breaking work schedule is taking a toll on them,with many of them having to relieve themselves in a secluded corner since Thane jail authorities would not allow them to use their facilities.
Senior Police Inspector Nandkumar Mistry says,We have 17 police vans to ferry prisoners. Every day,we have to reach Thane Central Jail by 7 am. By the time,undertrials are herded into vans going to different courts in Mumbai,its noon time. During the entire exercise,there are no restrooms for our use where we can relieve ourselves or change clothes.
Another police official,who did not wish to be named,says,Many of us come directly from our homes and there is not even a room for us to change our clothes and wear our uniforms. The only room that has been provided to us is so small that our bags take the entire space and we have to look for isolated corners outside to change our uniform.
Another police constable says,The absence of toilet facilities is a huge problem. We have to wait near the main gates of the jail premises and have to make do with the bushes behind the room where our bags are kept to relieve ourselves. It is humiliating. There are toilet facilities for the jail staff inside the Thane jail building but we are not allowed to go there as our duty is only to escort the prisoners from the entrance and bring them back.
The policemen also complained that the armoury from where they collect their weapons is quite a while away from the jail. Because of this,we have to walk all the way to the armoury to collect weapons before leaving for the courts and after the prisoners are brought back in the evening,again we have to walk all the way to deposit the weapons back in the armoury, said a constable.
When contacted,Superintendent of Thane Jail SN Chavan said,There is no question changing into uniform as they are supposed to come in their uniforms while on duty. Moreover,there are toilet facilities within the jail building and as it is,the police personnel do not stay there for that long a time. The entire process just takes a few minutes.
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