Activities in Tihar Jail should be monitored better with 1,500 cameras expected to be installed on and around the premises. Tihar has just about 250 cameras to keep a watch over some 14,000 inmates spread across nine central jails, making it easy to slip past the surveillance network. The situation is soon expected to improve with an internal report pointing to the need for approximately 1500 cameras to monitor all the wards and periphery. The report comes in the wake of a high court order asking the jail to install cameras for efficient monitoring of jail activities. The Tihar administration has written to the Delhi government in this regard.
The primary work has begun, with about 250 cameras being installed at various strategic locations in the past few days. Sunil Gupta, PRO, Tihar Jail, said about 1,000 more cameras were required in keeping with the court order. Officials are roping in qualified workers along with a better monitoring system for round-the- clock surveillance inside the jail. The officials hope to cover all areas like barracks, playgrounds and corridors prone to scuffles and fights among inmates. This should make it possible to monitor wards individually and keep an eye on the inmates even after sunset, apart from reining in illegal activities like contraband distribution and supply of weapons and gadgets like SIM cards and phones.
At present, cameras are installed mostly in high-security wards where high-risk prisoners and terrorists are kept. Those on suicide watch and the ones under the jail’s radar for misconduct are similarly monitored. There have been several instances of group fights and attack on prisoners by notorious inmates, but the reports have been vague in the absence of a witness or any evidence like CCTV footage.