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In the line of fire since a murder accused had himself escorted out,with the help of police and jail staff,to be with his wife,the Meerut prison administration has decided to shift him to another district.
Haji Izlal was escorted out of the Meerut Jail by two policemen on the pretext of producing him in court and taken to a lawyers chamber to be with his wife. Izlal had fudged his papers,with the help of some prison staff,to show that he was scheduled to appear in court on May 28,the day some 400 under-trials were to be produced in various courts.
The incident was reported by local media the next morning and it soon snowballed into a controversy as details emerged that Izlal was getting VIP treatment inside the jail: he had coolers in his cell and visitors were allowed free access to him even if they came after visiting hours.
Uttar Pradesh Jail Minister Rajendra Chaudhary has sought a report on the issue and a deputy jailer and the two policemen who escorted Izlal out have been suspended. This is the first time action has been initiated against erring officials though Meerut Jail has long been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
Last year,a team led by DIG,Prisons,M L Prakash was attacked when it raided the jail following complaints that notorious criminals were being provided almost anything,for a price. A probe later revealed that the jail staff had left barracks of criminals unlocked so they could attack the raiding team of the DIG.
The attack had left at least 10 policemen injured. Before that,a deputy jailer and a former jail doctor had been killed when they tried to crackdown on the facilities being provided to criminals. Now,however,the authorities claim,they are working to fix the system.