Prisons Dept. gets Rs. 5 lakh as ‘secret service fund’

The government has provided Rs. 5 lakh as a ‘secret service fund’ to the Prisons Department to improve intelligence-gathering in jails, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said.

In a written reply to a query by Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe, Mr. Fadnavis told the Legislative Council on Wednesday that the government had allocated the sum in the 2018-19 budget, and Rs. 85,000 of the total funds have been used so far.

Mr. Fadnavis said the funds are meant for gathering information on prohibited substances being brought into jails and used, potential escape attempts, attacks on other prisoners, and conspiracies to stoke violence.

It would also be used for information on convicts who jump parole or furlough, and to ensure the safety of prisoners when they are taken to courts or hospitals, he said.

Mr. Fadnavis said regular information gathering is necessary to ensure that collusion between prisoners and staff does not threaten the security of the jail premises.

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