New prisons being built at Panipat, Rewari Nuh in Haryana: Minister
Haryana Jails Minister Krishan Lal Panwar said that new prisons were being built at Panipat, Rewari Nuh each of which would have a capacity of housing 1,000 prisoners.
He said that open-air campus would be established at district jails in Karnal and Faridabad, for which 30 to 32 houses would be built outside jail premises where prisoners would be able to live with their families and would also be allowed to work.
This facility would be made available only to those prisoners who exhibit good behaviour, the minister said.
"Apart from this, three additional barracks for male inmates are being constructed at district jails in Jind and Sirsa. Similarly, construction of five barracks for men and one barrack for women inmates are underway in Bhiwani district jail," Panwar told reporters here on Tuesday.
Asked if Honeypreet Insan, who claims herself to be adopted daughter of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has moved an application seeking that she be shifted from the Ambala jail where she is currently lodged, Panwar said, "Any inmate, whether an undertrial or a regular prisoner has the right to move jail transfer application.
"She has moved an application, but in such cases, police verification and clearance from jail department is required and till the time we don't get these clearances, the plea for transfer of jail is kept on hold."
To another question on Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the jails minister said, "No application for grant of parole has been received from him."
Honeypreet Insan was arrested in October 2017. Following the conviction of the Dera chief in two rape cases, violence had erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa, the Dera headquarters, which claimed 41 lives and left scores of people injured.
The Dera chief has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping two women and is now lodged in a jail in Rohtak district.
Informing reporters that earlier, prisoners were permitted to talk to their family members on phone only for 10 minutes, the minister said, "The present state government has increased this time limit to 35 minutes for men and up to 60 minutes for women prisoners. Apart from this, the video calling facility has also been made available in 13 jails."
He said that special attention was being paid towards the diet of prisoners and the quality of food served to the inmates is checked from time to time.
Earlier, prisoners were given cashless coupons of Rs 6,000 to purchase items from the canteen. From November 1, this amount has been increased to Rs 8,000, Panwar said.
On being asked about use of mobile phone in jails, he said on the recovery of mobile phone from a prisoner, a case can be registered against him and his sentence period may also be increased.
Stressing that there was a requirement of 140 mobile jammers for all jails across the state, the minister said, "In the first phase, jammers would be installed at Jhajjar, Sonipat, Ambala and Gurgaon at a cost of Rs 6.76 crore and in the second phase, 11 such jammers would be installed in Rohtak district and 17 in Gurgaon district at a cost of Rs 17.53 crore."
To a question regarding smoking in the jails, he said that it is being considered to establish separate smoking zone or hall in the prisons.
Panwar, who also holds housing and transport portfolios, said that during the tenure of present state government, the Haryana Housing Board has built 19,356 flats over past four years and about 5,000 houses of different categories are under construction at separate locations in the state.
He said that there was a scheme to construct about 6,000 houses for ex-servicemen, employees and economically weaker sections in Gurgaon, Karnal and Hisar.
"Similarly, the state government has the scheme to construct about 1,700 flats for people belonging to BPL category in Gurgaon for which about 2,500 applications have been received so far," Panwar said.
(With inputs from agencies.)