’80 Bhopal jail guards assigned to state ministers, officers’

Bhopal, Nov 4 (IANS) Amid questions being raised on the security at Bhopal Central Jail following the escape of eight SIMI aligned prisoners, it has been learnt that 80 of the jail guards have been assigned for the security of ministers and senior officials.

According to sources in the know, of the 160 guards posted in Bhopal jail, 80 guards are assigned to ministers, administrative officers and former ministers of the state government. This effectively means that security at the jail is halved, and lapses are bound to happen, the sources added.

Congress State President Arun Yadav said, “The assigning of jail guards as security personnel to state ministers and officers is proof of the lapse in security at the Bhopal jail. This also shows the state of the state’s prisons.”

Jail Minister Kusum Mehdele has also been assigned three guards of the Bhopal jail.

Talking to reporters on Friday, Mehdele said, “This number has been exaggerated. There is one driver and two security guards deployed at my residence.”

She added that the issue will be investigated.

On October 31, eight members of SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) escaped from Bhopal Central Jail after slitting the throat of guard Ramashankar Yadav.

Eight hours after their escape, all the eight activists were killed a few kilometres from the city in a shootout with the police.