Questions raised over security in Berhampur Circle Jail

Berhampur: A day after security breach allegations were leveled against Balasore jail superintendent’s husband, questions have been raised over the security of the Circle Jail in Berhampur for delay in appointment of jail superintendent and staff crunch.

As Berhampur Circle Jail is a home to some of the most hardcore criminals including Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, the prison is considered very sensitive place. Besides, around 24 jails of the nearby southern districts like Gajapati, Kandhamal also come under the jurisdiction of this circle jail.

Berhampur being one of the most crime-affected cities in the southern region of the State, the weakened security arrangements at the jail have now been a major concern for all.

As per reports, the Circle Jail is yet to get a new in-charge after the retirement of the last superintendent two months ago.

Even after repeated exposure on staff crunch hitting the jail, around 16 warder posts are lying vacant in the jail while four officers are working in place of ten.

While the outer security of the jail is ensured by armed API constables, the internal security is more of a concern due to absence of sufficient number of staff.

Lawyer Pitabas Panda said, “A senior superintendent should be posted as in-charge of the Circle jail but it is quite shocking to note that the government is not at all concerned to fill the vacant post. Not only that, the number of prisoners is triple the strength of the security personnel here.”

DIG Prisons, Southern Range Raghunath Majhi also accepted that the fulfilment of superintendent post has become extremely important.

Earlier on Monday, a video of the husband of Nilgiri Sub-Jail superintendent Mamtabala Patra, working in the computer inside the jail premises had gone viral on social media drawing criticism from various sectors.