LAHORE: Punjab Inspector General of Prisons Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig withheld annual increment for a period of one year of 17 Adiala Jail officials after they were found involved in shifting inmates from one barrack to another in violation of rules and regulations for gaining financial benefits.
Deputy Inspector General of Prisons Rawalpindi Malik Shaukat Ferooz had conducted an inquiry against the jail officials after an under-trial prisoner (UTP) was allegedly sodomized by some convicted inmates.
During the inquiry proceedings, the rape charges against the officials and certain convicts could not be established as the medical examination of the victim turned out negative. However, criminal negligence and corruption was established on the part of 17 jail officials who used to facilitate the UTPs and sentenced for life prisoners by sending them from one barrack to another and even in the jail hospital for financial benefits, the report says, a copy of which is available with Business Recorder. It says that among the total punished officials, six were assistant superintendent jails (ASJs) including Ghulam Raza, Mohsin Iqbal, Muhammad Islam, Adeel Zafar, Zafar Iqbal and Muhammad Mumtaz. They are grade-16 officers.
According to the findings of the DIG, all these officials were responsible for restricting the prisoners in their respective barracks to avert unnecessary movements and getting their movements registered in the ‘Movement Register’ through the in-charge barracks (Imdadi Central Tower) under their supervision, but they failed to do so.
Resultantly, two sentenced for life prisoners – Sajjad Khan and Shahzad Khan – sexually abused an under-trial prisoner, Taimoor Khan, by taking advantage of the unwarranted barrack movements, the report said, adding that Taimoor used to come out from barrack No 1 went to jail hospital daily for doing chores to facilitate both the suspected rapists and a prisoner, Wali Jan, in the hospital’s cell No 8.
In the meantime, the inquiry report said, Sajjad sexually abused Taimoor in the hospital cell when Wali Jan went out to ‘meet some other prisoners.’ “After some time, he (Taimoor) was again sexually abused by Sajjad Khan in Barrack No 3 and 4 and a scuffle was also occurred between Sajjad and Zahid Butt, another sentenced for life prisoner confined in the said barracks,” it reads.
“The illegal movements of inmates of barrack No 4 and 3 have proved during the inquiry proceedings and that UTP Taimoor used to frequently come to the said barracks with his father and also to meet Sajjad Khan in absence of concerned ASJs which shows their misconduct and inefficiency which was also testified by other inmates. Moreover, during scrutiny of movement record of barracks 3 and 4, it revealed that the record was not properly managed,” the report said.
According to the report, the DIG issued show-cause notices to all the accused officials for personal hearing after a delay of five months. Interestingly, the IG Prisons also took more than two years to decide the matter as the issue was surfaced in August 2019 while the decision was announced on 14.6.2021.
Commenting on the matter, officials said late decisions on misconduct, inefficiency and corruption cases depict weak command and control of IG Prisons Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig. “Unless a carrot-and-stick policy is not adopted and decisions on such cases are not announced in the shortest possible time, deterrence cannot be created as justice delayed is justice denied,” they added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021