Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Govt to keep shifting Maoists from one jail to another

Statesman News Service
PATNA, Dec. 24: Panicky about the unrest inside jails, the Bihar government will keep shifting the Maoists from one jail to another. The move is aimed at breaking their unity and preventing them from hatching conspiracies against the administration. There are more than 700 Maoists lodged inside the state's prisons.
The decision was taken after the Maoist revolt in Beur jail recently when they took control of the high-security prison for more than six hours, assaulted prison staff and destroyed the kitchen, forcing more than 2,800 inmates to go without food for a day.
What alarmed the jail administration was that the Maoists lodged in other jails, too, went on flash strike and forced the administration to dance to their tune. The Maoists have threatened to avenge the death of their comrade Nagina Manjhi found hanging from the iron gates of Beur jail. Maoist leaders believe Manjhi did not commit “suicide” as was being claimed by the jail authorities, saying Maoists are not known to throw away their lives in such a cowardly manner, rather he was murdered. “We will not rest until we avenge the killing of our comrade, who was sent to jail on trumped up charges”, said Prabhakar, secretary of the Bihar-Jharkhand-Frontier Uttar Pradesh Regional Committee of the Maoists. Though lodged in jails, Maoists have been posing problems for the authorities by hatching conspiracies and giving them shape from behind bars, sources said. It was in prison that the Jehanabad jailbreak plan was made by Ajan Kanu. The Maoists freed him under the nose of the administration. Kanu is lodged in Patna’s Beur jail.
Over-crowding of jails is another source of worry for the authorities. As per an official report, more than 44,000 prisoners are lodged in the state’s 54 jails which have the maximum capacity to house only 21,000 prisoners. The state authorities are worried about the rise in incidents of Maoist activities. According to an official report, 87 Naxalite-related incidents have been reported in the state in the last six months, against 63 reported last year in the corresponding period. Though the government blames it on the social-economic problem, the poor police-population ratio and untrained jail staff, the realty is different. The common masses simply link the growing Maoist menace to the state government’s failures to launch welfare work for the poor, the administration’s inability to tackle cases of the common people's torture at the hands of the police and the NDA government’s failure to keep its promises of development it made to the people before taking their support on the eve of Assembly polls.

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