New Delhi: Terrorists lodged in prisons are "indoctrinating" petty criminals to bring them to their fold and use them in their nefarious designs, the Centre has said and suggested state governments and union territories that there is a need for their segregation from ordinary inmates.
The Home Ministry's suggestion has come in the wake of reports received from central security agencies.
In a letter to all state governments and union territories, the Ministry said there is an immediate need to decongest the jails by setting up security prison for terror accused outside the city.
"If that is not feasible, then very high risk prisoners and other undertrial prisoners under the category of terrorist/ security suspects are required to be segregated effectively from the ordinary prisoners within the complex of central and district jails," wrote Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Kumar Alok.
The ministry said the level of security within a prison has to be categorised in terms of risk to prisoners for better security, strict monitoring of activities of visitors as well as prisoners inside the jail premises and also in transit outside.
"Restriction on movement of high risk prisoners within the jails and their mixing with other prisoner even during transit to court, hospital etc. to avoid the chance of indoctrination, ban on possessing objects that could potentially be used to harm others, arrangements of court's hearing through video conferencing in case of high risk prisoners," the Home Ministry told the states.
It also asked for appointment of adequate number of jail staff to manage and supervise prisoners activities, installation of CCTV cameras, mobile jammers with state of the art prisoner's surveillance system to manage the present prison security challenges to be shared with all concerned as per their need.
Regular security classification protocol to be enforced strictly for screening and risk assessment of the prisoners, quarterly review of such classification by a committee comprising of representatives of magistrates, police, prison, and prosecution are some other advises.
"The aforesaid measures would go a long way in improving the security inside the jails besides strengthening the criminal justice system as a whole. It is expected that the states/ UTs would do their best to implement them on priority," the letter said.