LAHORE, July 12: Carelessness and a lack of interest on part of the authorities appear to be the main reason behind accommodating trainees at an insecure private place and exposing them to dangers like a terrorist attack on Thursday.
“We never realised that trainees were vulnerable to any such attack,” a senior police official said while quoting the top guy of the National Academy for Prisons Administration.
DIG (Operations) Rai Muhammad Tahir told Dawn that trainees of different ranks in the prisons department used to stay at private places keeping in view the shortage of accommodation at the academy.
He said the management didn’t realise that the officials must be given some security at private accommodations. He said out of 86 trainee jail warders, 31 were kept outside the academy.
Sources in the Punjab Prisons Department told Dawn that NAPA even didn’t have its own piece of land and was established on land of the Camp Jail and the Punjab Prisons Staff Training Institute.
They said the academy was not officially entitled (by the Punjab government) to operate on provincial prisons department’s property but the management was reluctant to shift it from Lahore to Islamabad.
They said Rehman Malik, the adviser to the prime minister on interior, during a meeting with IGs prisons of four provinces following Bannu jail attack, had ordered shifting of NAPA to Islamabad but no practical step was taken afterwards.
They said Mr Malik did so only after the KPK IG prisons complained about a lack of training for jail force and absence of national jail institute in Islamabad.
Sources said some rooms existed in the academy, which didn’t cater to the needs of the staff and trainees. The academy lacked parade ground and other facilities as well, they said.
They said the academy was paying Rs14,000 monthly rent to the hostel owner.
A couple of trainee officials told Dawn that they were staying at rented hostels without any security and the academy’s management should have given a serious thought to it.
NAPA Director-General Masood Khan was not available for comment.
FUNERAL PRAYERS: The funeral prayer for nine KPK jail warders was offered at Qilla Gujjar Singh Police Lines. Punjab minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, IGP Mohammad Habibur Rehman, IG Prisons Mian Farooq Nazir, CCPO Muhammad Aslam Tareen, Lahore Commissioner Jawad Rafique Malik and DCO Noorul Amin Mengal were among the participants.
A police contingent presented guard of honour on the occasion.