Maha govt mulling over proposal for modern jails: Minister

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Pune, Jan 1 (PTI) Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Friday said the state government was mulling over a proposal for constructing modern jails in order to decongest the existing prisons in the state.

Speaking to reporters after a visit to Yerwada Central Prison here, Deshmukh said the jail administration in the state had done a commendable job to keep the COVID-19 transmission in jails at bay.

'I met jail officials and personnel, and congratulated them for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. I also met inmates and heard their demands and grievances,' the minister said.

Currently, all jails in the state are overcrowded and to decongest them, a proposal has been presented before Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar for construction of modern prisons, he said.

While the capacity of jails in the state is 22,000, at present, there are around 38,000 prisoners lodged in them, he said.

'During the COVID-19 pandemic, we had released around 11,000 inmates on temporary parole and that helped us keep the virus at bay to a large extent. Although there were COVID-19 cases inside prisons, all were treated,' Deshmukh said.

Apart from a proposal to build modern jails, a plan is also under the consideration for housing for police personnel, he added.

Speaking about Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis' remarks about Maharashtra DGP Subodh Jaiswal choosing to go on central deputation, Deshmukh said, 'Even if we do good work, the opposition will criticise. If he does not criticise, his party's shop will shut.' Fadnavis on Thursday had said DGP Subodh Kumar Jaiswal choosing to go on deputation outside the state would demoralise the police force.

Last night, Deshmukh welcomed the new year with policemen at the police control room in Pune and even received calls from citizens.

The minister had said that he encouraged and congratulated policemen for their commendable job during the pandemic. PTI SPK ARU ARU