Gangsters are apparently not having it easy anymore in Punjab jails post the sensational Nabha jail break.
Confined to a high-security zones, nearly 250 gangsters lodged in the state's jails appears to have lost the 'good life' they used to enjoy behind bars in the past.
Highly-placed sources said post the Nabha jailbreak, which saw six inmates, including four gangsters and two terrorists escape from the high security jail on November 27, 2016 after their aides stormed the jail, gangsters in all 10 jails have been segregated from other jail birds and confined to high-security zones formed in each prison.
"These high-security zones are about 70X50 meter area which houses about 40 to 50 gangsters. So the inmates, categorised as gangsters by the police, now remain confined to this small area and remain under intensive surveillance," the additional director general of police (ADGP), prisons, Rohit Chaudhary told The Statesman.
He said it has helped in successfully curbing the unlawful activities and influence of they (gangsters) had earlier within the jails.
Sources said while in the past it used to add to a criminal's clout if he was categorised as a gangster, but it was not the case anymore as carrying the 'gangster tag' makes the jail stay harder for them now.
"Earlier it used to be a race to get branded as a gangsters, but now they (gangsters) complain that the police has put them in the gangster category without a reason," the officer said on the condition of anonymity.
To put an end to the unwanted activities of these gangsters, the jail department is also in the process of installing CCTV cameras, more watch towers, door frame metal detectors and 4G jammers in the high security zones. The mulakat (meeting friends and relatives) time has also been reduced to once a week and they do not allow food from outside anymore.
With this segregation, other inmates and jail staff who used to be terrorised by these gangsters are also breathing easy due to the segregation. Over 350 cell phones have seized from various jails since the jail break.
There are nine Central jails Patiala, Ludhiana, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Bathinda, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and a high-security jail Nabha in Punjab. There are about 250 gangsters in these jails, out of which 35 are hardcore criminals.