Security heightened for Pakistani prisoners in Bengal: Minister

Kolkata, Feb 27 (IANS) Amid escalating tension between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack and the Indian air strikes, security has been heightened for 14 Pakistani inmates in two jails in West Bengal, a minister said on Wednesday.

The Pakistani prisoners at the two correctional homes (as jails are called in the state) have been barred from freely mixing with fellow prisoners or sharing meals as part of the "precautionary measures", Correctional Administration Minister Ujjwal Biswas told IANS.

Among the 14 inmates of Pakistani origin, four are kept in the Presidency Correctional Home and other 10 are in Dum Dum Central Correctional Home in the city.

"Generally the terrorists or extremists among the prisoners are always kept under special surveillance. But as the prisons have access to televisions, some precautionary measures have been taken following the Pulwama attack.

"Earlier the prisoners were allowed to spend time with the fellow prisoners here. They have been barred from openly mixing with the other prisoners or having meal with them," Biswas said.

Referring to the alleged killing of a 50-year-old Pakistani convict by fellow inmates in Rajasthan's Jaipur Central jail, he said the state government apprehended that such incidents could happen in the state as well.

"We sensed that something like that could happen as the tension has been growing between the two nations recently. So these inmates have been shifted to separate cells where high value convicts including those involved in the attack on Kolkata's American Center are lodged," he added.

--IANS

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