The Yerawada Central Prison — one of the largest in Asia — will be under the surveillance of 112 CCTV cameras to keep an eye on illicit activities and for providing better security. The prison has only about 500 policemen looking after 3,800 inmates, which makes the jail management a daunting task with recent raids showing inmates had access to cellphones and narcotic substances.
The entire jail premises, including the high-security ‘Anda cell’, barracks where prisoners live, the area outside the main gate and also the road along the prison will be covered by the cameras. The need for CCTV cameras in the jail premises was first underlined after the murder of an alleged Indian Mujahideen operative, Quateel Siddiqui, inside the prison on May 8, 2012. However, it has taken three years for the administration to get the first set of cameras installed. “With a limited staff it is not possible to keep a watch on all the inmates,” said a jail officer.
A monitoring room, which will be manned by an officer 24X7, has been set up inside the prison . The Yerawada prison superintendent, U T Pawar, said, “We plan to install more cameras in the next phase. The spots are being identified and more cameras will be procured from the office of the District Collector.”