‘Clean-up’ in Kerala jails begins


In a smooth operation, around 350 portraits of political leaders and social figures including Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, AKG, EMS and Pinarayi Vijayan were removed from Kannur Central Jail on Sunday.

Several pictures and idols of various gods, religious figures and film stars were removed from the Viyyur central prison in Thrissur and Poojapura central prison here.

Anticipating tension, two platoons of armed personnel from the Malabar Special Police force accompanied the prison officials while they searched the Kannur Central Jail. However, there was no resistance from the prisoners.

The searches followed a recent visit by the home minister, Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan to the Kannur and Poojappura jails. During the visit, he had asked prison officials to remove pictures of the political and religious leaders.

As ADGP (Prisons) Alexander Jacob insisted on a specific government order, the government issued the order the other day.

A team led by DIG(Prison), North Zone, K Radakrishnan and Kannur jail superintendent Sivadasan Thaiparambil carried out the search at the Kannur central jail.

The portraits of the Marxist leaders were removed mainly from block no. 8, referred to as a Marxist citadel. Names of Marxist martyrs that were sculptured in the prison premises were also removed. The search that began by 11.30 am lasted till 3 pm.

Scores of images of different gods that were removed from the cells of the Poojapura central prison were shifted to the worship centres of different religions in the prison premises.

“We have also seized several utensils from the cell that were used by the prisoners to cook the vegetables grown in the prison premises,” said prison superintendent A. Pradeep, who led the search.

The cells of Viyyur central jail were dotted not only with pictures of political and social figures, but also with pictures of films actors.

“There were not many photos of political leaders here, unlike the Kannur prison. And the walls, on the back of the pictures drawn, would be whitewashed soon,” said jailor T Baburaj.

The jail authorities also searched the personal belongings of the jail inmates in order to screen out weapons and drugs. However, no such case was found.

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