RAWALPINDI: The Punjab government has empowered the Special Branch to conduct surprise raids and carry out inspection of all jails, including the Central Jail Adiala Rawalpindi, and submit a report if any mismanagement or inefficiency was observed.

The move came about in the wake of a riot in the Gujrat jail on July 2 when the inmates staged a protest against the jail administration following a clash with some jail officials.

At least five people - three jail officials and two policemen - were injured in the clash. Six warders were suspended while a case was registered against nine officials of the jail.

Following the incident, the government directed the Special Branch to conduct surprise raids and check all jails across the province.

The additional inspector general of police Special Branch, DIG security and admin and SSP (survey of Special Branch) at the provincial headquarters have been assigned the task to visit the jails. Regional officers of Special Branch along with their district level officers and support staff would visit jails in their respective areas. When contacted, Inspector General of Prisons Shahid Saleem Baig told Dawn that the objective f the government move to give access to Special Branch to visit jails and avoid incidents like the Gujrat jail riot.

He said the Special Branch visits will help jail authorities avoid any such incident in future.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2020

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