IMPHAL, July 13: The All Manipur Jail Executive and Followers Association today asked the government to halt its plan to shift women prisoners of Manipur Central Jail, Imphal to Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa.
Speaking to media persons at the Manipur Press Club, general secretary of the association Y Suresh stated that the move of the government will only invite prison offences as was experienced in the past.
According to reliable sources, the government has plans to construct a new Police Headquarters at the Manipur Central jail premises once the inmates are moved out.
“It is not feasible to lodge prisoners of different sex together inside four walls. Instead of segmenting prisoners according to their status the government went on closing down jails, which will only create problems”.
“At present, Manipur Central Jail, Imphal accommodates about 39 women inmates while Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa has over 700 jail inmates of varying crimes”, he said.
Referring to the Manipur Central Jail, Imphal as a living monument of Manipur’s struggle against the British, Suresh said, the government must protect and preserve such a state heritage.
It may be mentioned that the Manipur Central Jail, Imphal was built by the British in 1890. Manipur freedom fighters Niranjan Subedar and Pukhrambam Kajao were hanged inside the jail on August 13, 1981.
Suresh further urged the government to reopen the district jails which are lying defunct now. In the meantime, the government should preserve the Manipur Central jail and let it remain as it is, he added.
Further elaborating on their demands, the association had also submitted a memorandum to the state Home Minister urging immediate DPC for promotion of and filling of vacant posts and several other demands, he said.
The demands also include the proposal for grant of ration money, 13 months pay, uniforms and other allowances for the followers of the jail department as extended to the followers of Manipur Rifles.