Professional - Inspector General of Prisons

Gupta to continue with Bedi's good works

(The Pioneer, 26 August 1995)

    Mr R S Gupta, Inspector General, Tihar Jail on Friday said that he would continue with the good work done by his predecessor Kiran Bedi. 
    Speaking to the Pioneer Mr Gupta said: ‘I have just taken over and I will take stock of the situation before I take any of the major decisions.’
    He said: ‘it is too early to say anything. The main objective of this post is to see that Tihar becomes a model jail. Kiran Bedi has done good work and I will see to it that whatever strengthens the infrastructure of the jail, will be continued.’
    Mr Gupta said that the problem of overcrowding at Tihar Jail will be a priority on his agenda. ‘I have already talked to the chief engineer deputed for the construction for jail no. 5. Besides this, health care is something which requires serious thinking.’ Mr Gupta said that efficiency at Tihar was suffering because of a lack of proper communication system ‘Delhi police had wireless system through which one could keep in touch. Tihar Jail covers a big area and keeping in touch with different members of the staff is a problem which we must attend.’
    He also said that the welfare of the inmates, proper utilization of their time and channelizing their activities productively were the areas which would take up his time.
    According to sources in the police department, Mr Gupta will face a tough time keeping in view that he has taken over from the high profile Ms Bedi. A source said: ‘the issues facing Mr Gupta are serious. There have been too many custody deaths in the past few months. An organized racket has also been discovered in the distribution of coupons in the jail and there were cases of drugs and other contraband being recovered from the premises. Besides this, an organized racket is flourishing at Tihar involving various jail officials.’
    According to one source,‘he will face tremendous political pressure which will hamper his functioning. The same political group had ensured that Ms Bedi was removed from the place though she was doing a commendable job.’
    Several NGOs and people who have been working along side Ms Bedi for the past two years had expressed sceptisism about their involvement in the functioning of the Tihar inmates’ welfare programmes. One of the social worker said: ‘For the past two years tremendous work had been done within the jail premises, the result of which are for everyone to see. With a new IG taking over, we are afraid the process might come to a stop.’
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