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150 prisoners shifted to 4 Uttar Pradesh jails in 2 weeks

The prisoners were flown to UP in batches in Indian Air Force aircraft, people aware of the matter told ET on condition of anonymity.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 24, 2019, 08.24 AM IST
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Agencies
jail-agencies
Thirty were shifted to Agra on August 8, and 26 more were flown in by special aircraft to Agra on Thursday. Some have been shifted to Lucknow Jail too.
NEW DELHI: More than 150 prisoners have been shifted from Jammu & Kashmir to four jails in Uttar Pradesh in the past two weeks since the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution that granted special status to the state and allowed privileges for its residents.

The prisoners were flown to UP in batches in Indian Air Force aircraft, people aware of the matter told ET on condition of anonymity. According to the official, the Centre has asked the UP government to be prepared to accommodate more such potential prisoners from J&K, they said.

Most of these prisoners are “potential troublemakers” who were rounded up and detained in J&K under the state’s Public Safety Act, said a senior government official. A few are dreaded terrorists and others are those accused of stone-pelting, he said.

The volatile situation in J&K and the threat posed by such prisoners there is said to be the reason behind the move. Most of those shifted were brought to the Agra Central Jail, which is housing 56 such prisoners. Thirty were shifted to Agra on August 8, and 26 more were flown in by special aircraft to Agra on Thursday.

High-security barracks have been cleared or special barracks created to house these prisoners in UP’s jails, and directions issued to not allow them to mingle or come into contact with other prisoners lodged in the jail. Food is being directly served in the barracks for the J&K prisoners and they have not been allowed to see any visitors. The identity of the prisoners has not been made public. Many of them are said to be close to separatist leaders in J&K.

The UP government has been directed to beef up security outside the jails, where units of the Provincial Armed Constabulary have been deployed. Bunkers and pickets were set up outside the jails, with security men keeping a close eye, before the prisoners were brought here. CCTVs and mobile phone jammers here were re-checked and activated. Multi-layer security checks were deployed outside these jails for visitors.

At Agra Jail, vehicles are being stopped almost a kilometre ahead of the jail and only one access road has been kept open.
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