Mumbai: Taloja jail gives cop the run around, refuses to take in accused
Aadharwadi and Taloja jails send policemen back and forth, refusing to take in accused, citing overcrowding; a call to Thane control room finally makes Aadharwadi accept them
The police played musical chairs this weekend, but the dangerous kind.
Personnel of the Khadakpada and Mahatma Phule police stations on Saturday were made to go back and forth between Aadharwadi and Taloja jails, with both refusing to take in five accused, saying they were more than filled to capacity.
While Aadharwadi jail finally accepted them late at night, after a call was made to the Thane control room, officers said such after-hours travel with criminals posed a security risk, and that authorities needed to address the issue of overcrowding in prisons at the earliest.
Pillar to post
The incident took place after the accused, one of them arrested in a theft case, were produced in a holiday court in Kalyan. "The court sent them to magistrate custody, directing that they be taken to Aadharwadi jail. We reached the premises at 6.30 pm, but authorities turned us away, saying they didn't have any room for the accused. They gave us a letter and told us to go to Taloja jail. After travelling for nearly two hours, at 9.30 pm, when the team reached Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai, the latter also refused to take the accused, giving the same reason," said an officer.
Finally, Aadharwadi jail agreed to take in the undertrials, after a constable from the team, taking the issue seriously, made a call to the Thane control room and expressed concern about the security risk. "Then, superintendent of Aadharwadi jail Bharat Bhosale came running and accepted the accused," added the officer.
Senior inspector of Khadakpada police station B A Kadam said, "Earlier too, such situations have arisen. Thankfully, they accepted our accused at 8.30 pm. But those arrested by the Mahatma Phule police were only taken in much later at night."
Jail authorities usually don't take in accused after 6 pm. "The stretch between the two jails is isolated. Travelling on such roads is a risk. They should realise this and not turn away accused just because they don't have space. The court should take steps and assign the jail accordingly, making it clear to the authorities concerned," said another officer.
Confirming the incident, Bhosale said, "The jail was overcrowded to the extent that we couldn't accept anyone new for three days and were forced to refuse. The Saturday incident did happen, but we allowed the five accused in at night."
"We have a capacity to house 540 prisoners. At present, our jail is bursting with 1,600 inmates, nearly triple the number. Prisoners going out on bail are less, and that compounds the problem," he added.
Number of inmates in Taloja jail
Number of inmates in Aadharwadi jail
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