Two jail officials in Uttar Pradesh were suspended following reports that these correctional centres were turning into picnic spots for criminals who can afford it.
A video clip of Naini Central jail went viral on the social media in which the jail inmates were seen drinking and dancing. IANS on Thursday reported that such a party had been held. Photos also corroborated that parties were held.
The videos showed that jails in Uttar Pradesh were turning into pubs for gangsters who were seen throwing liquor and gambling parties inside the barracks. Much to the embarrassment of the prison department, several photographs of prisoners, savoring non-vegetarian dishes and alcoholic drinks, were shared on the social media.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the video clip was made on June 4, a day after mafia don-turned-politician Ateeq Ahmad was shifted from Naini Jail to the Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad.
According to jail officials, the inmates seen in the photographs include dreaded criminal Gadau Pasi, Uday Yadav and Ranu. All of them were apparently celebrating the departure of Ateeq Ahmad form the jail.
Additional Director General (ADG), Prisons, Chandra Prakash said inmates seen in the video would be shifted to other jails and the role of other jail officials was also under the scanner.
Two jail sentries, Mulchandra Dohre and Krishna Kumar, were suspended after the DIG sent his report to higher officials which said the two staff members were on duty in the same barrack where the party was allegedly held.
On Thursday, after video clips of inmates in Ghazipur enjoying a hearty non-vegetarian meal in bone china plates took social media by storm, the inquiry was launched.
More videos showed inmates talking on mobile phones and indulging in light-hearted banter.
A retired jail official, however, said that the inquiry would serve no purpose.
"All high-profile criminals who enjoy political patronage get luxuries inside the jail. They are allowed to get food from outside and or get food of their choice cooked inside. They possess mobile phones, liquor and all banned items inside the jail. They are the ones who post video clips on the social media because the idea is to tell the world that they are living life on their own terms. If jailers object, they get eliminated," he said.
The retired official admitted that these luxuries were available on payment.
"The inmates pay hefty amounts on a monthly basis to jail staff that turns a blind eye to such activities," he disclosed
Criminals-turned-politicians like Mukhtar Ansari, Babloo Srivastava and Ateeq Ahmad are known to run their gangs form inside the Uttar Pradesh jails.
Ateeq Ahmad, while he was lodged in Deoria jail, summoned a businessman and got him beaten up inside the prison.
The businessman later complained and the Supreme Court finally orderd that Ateeq be shifted to a jail in Gujarat.
Ateeq Ahmad was on Monday shifted to the jail in Ahmedabad in Gujarat under tight security on the directives of the Supreme Court.