Established in 1885, Sabarmati Jail is considered to be the safest and biggest jail in Gujarat. But, it has become a hub of corruption in the last few years.
To receive all the basic facilities inside the jail, a prisoner is asked to pay some kind of ‘facilitation fee’, after which, he gets the due facilities. The amount of the fee ranges from INR 2 lakh to INR 15 lakh. It depends on the ability of the prisoner on how much he can offer.
Serving his undertrials in jail on serious charges, a prisoner Azhar Kitli, lodged a complaint at Ahmedabad’s Vejalpur Police station with the help of a local businessman of Juhapura (a neighbouring area in north-west zone of Ahmedabad ) over the issue of ransom demand that was asked inside the police station.
There were reports related to the incidence of unfair trade practices inside the jail. The succulent prisoners pay heavy money (INR 2 lakh to 15 lakh) to get better barracks, phones and other facilities leading to discrimination inside the prison.
After the issue was reported, the matter reached the Home Ministry (state) Department. An inquiry has been set up to investigate the case.
For the past few years, Sabarmati jail has been in news over the issues related to prisoners asking for heavy ransom or making attempts to dig escape tunnels to make their way etc.
Sources narrated- “Christian, who is a prisoner for a good number of years now, dominates a group inside the jail and administers certain unfair activities and carry illegal practices along with the help of other inmates.”
Prices are fixed according to the kind of facilities provided. After spending a heavy amount between a range of INR 2 lakh to 15 lakh, home-like facilities are offered. The reality can be established with the help of CCTV footage.
Another prisoner, Yashpal, imprisoned for murder charges, operates his network from the jail itself. To maintain the continuity of his operations, he repeatedly pays a large amount of money to meet his phone requirements.
It was also reported that Jignesh Soni, the prime suspect in the murder of Pradip Don had offered a vehicle to a police officer.
A prisoner from Saurashtra with surname Jadeja, allegedly operates his gang from jail’s landline number. While another prisoner Solanki, allegedly uses the prison’s garden to meet his doctor girlfriend.
Reports have emerged that the high-profile prisoners after coming to jail are harassed in multiple ways. Some of them are forced to sleep outside the smelly bathroom and some are harassed by the other jail mates. After being harassed for long, they are forced to take the asked ‘packages’.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has called for a serious investigation in this matter.