The Uttar Pradesh government has transferred 21 jail officials and 15 IAS officers after a video went viral showing two inmates brandishing a pistol and drinking liquor inside the prison premises in the Unnao district.
According to a statement issued here on Thursday night by Director General (Prisons) Anand Kumar, some of the prison officials who have been transferred are Ravikant Singh from Central Jail Agra to Jhansi District Jail, Alok Kumar Shukla posted at Central Jail Bareilly to District Jail Fatehpur, while Dharampal Singh has been transferred to Naini Central Jail (Prayagraj) from Sultanpur District Jail.
However, no official from the Unnao district prison was mentioned in the transfer list.
A departmental probe has been initiated against four officials of the Unnao prison following the video.
The police department said that the video of the inmates – Amrish and Gaurav Pratap Singh, who also goes by the name Ankur – was circulated on the social media on June 23.
DIG Range Lucknow has been ordered to investigate the incident. The four officials who are being probed have been transferred and the two inmates seen in the video will be transferred to other prisons, State prison Minister Jai Kumar Singh Jaiki said.
Terming the entire sequence of events as “serious”, Additional Director General (Prisons) Anand Kumar said, “In the investigation, it was found that the incident was done in collusion with some officials to put pressure on the prison administration.”
“In this context, head jail warders Mata Prasad and Hemraj, jail warder Awadhesh Sahu and Saleem Khan have been found to be colluding with the inmates, and action is being initiated against them as per rules,” he added.
The Uttar Pradesh home department, in a bizarre explanation, stated that the pistol was apparently “made of clay” and looked real because one of the two inmates is a “good painter”.
The statement also issued a clarification on the food being laid out for these inmates.
The UP home department said, “During the probe, it was found that Gaurav is a very good painter, and the country-made pistol shown in the video is actually made of clay (mitti).”
“Apart from this, all the food items, which are seen in the video, are regular items which are given to the inmates. None of the items were brought from outside or are objectionable,” the statement added.