New Delhi: Seven Pakistani terrorists, who were lodged in the Srinagar central jail, have been shifted to Jammu after the Centre cracked the whip on the J&K government two days after the daring escape of a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist.
Sources told CNN-News18 that the home ministry in a high-level meeting on Friday made it clear to the state government that the escape of Naveed Jutt was unacceptable and steps must be taken to avoid any repeat of the situation.
A total of 16 Pakistani terrorists are lodged in the Srinagar jail, and sources said that all of them will be moved to different jails in Uddhampur, Leh and Jammu on the directions of the central government.
“The idea is to isolate them. While they were together, they managed to meet over ground workers during visiting hours and influence some jail staff,” an official who was part of the meeting said.
J&K DGP SP Vaid told CNN-News18 that the final decision on the transfer will be taken by the state government. "Steps have to be taken to ensure safety of all prisoners lodged in jail," he said.
The preliminary enquiry conducted after Jutt's escape had showed that mobile phones were being used by a number of prisoners in the jail, and Vaid confirmed that there is no doubt that a mobile was used to formulate the conspiracy.
"In exchange for money, lower level jail staff were getting sim cards for these prisoners. A random inspection earlier had showed that the jammers were deliberately unplugged," an officer involved with the enquiry said.
The 22-year-old Jutt was being taken to a hospital for a routine check-up with five other prisoners when gunmen attacked. Two policemen were killed in the shootout and Jutt had managed to escape.
The divisional commissioner has also ordered a high-level inquiry to fix responsibility for lapses and examine why high security prisoners were being sent to OPD of the hospital.
News18 had on Thursday reported that the doctor attached to Srinagar jail had on multiple occasions recommended that Naveed Jutt be taken to a hospital. Her role is also under the scanner.
Officials said that it has also been decided that to engage CRPF for all aspects of security at Srinagar Jail. When asked if this was a vote of no confidence in the state police, Vaid said, "CRPF was part of security here earlier too. Now their engagement will increase. Don't worry about the morale of JKP, we are fine.”
The state government had also ordered a reshuffle in the top police brass on Thursday, and sources in North Block said the decision to transfer DG prisons was taken after an MHA advisory to “fully review security measures and take action to prevent such action in future.”