Bengaluru , March 18 2020

Prisoners make masks for selves, cops

Published in- The New Indian Express

March 18, 2020, Bengaluru

Parappana Agrahara inmates will gradually supply masks to jails and Karnataka’s police force

The new coronavirus has come as a leveller of sorts for convicts lodged in the Bengaluru Central Prison. They are now making surgical masks for their personal safety and for their counterparts in other prisons in the state and also, for the cops who brought them to justice and those who keep a careful watch over them while they are in judicial custody.

“There’s an acute scarcity of surgical masks in the market. As a precautionary measure, it is important that all prisoners and prison staff wear masks. The convicts at Bengaluru Central Prison are making 1,000 surgical masks every day. They will be used by inmates, prison staff and the Karnataka police department. Once our need is met, we will supply masks to other government offices,” Alok Mohan, DGP Prisons and Correctional Services told The New Indian Express.

There are around 16,000 prisoners in Karnataka. The surgical masks produced at the Bengaluru Central prison in Parappana Agrahara will be supplied to all prisoners, jail staff and police in the state on a war-footing.``Convicts lodged in other central prisons will also start making masks soon. We are trying to be self-sufficient,” Mohan added.

As a measure of precaution, all new prisoners are compulsorily being screened for COVID19 before they enter the prison. “We have created separated wards in the prison hospitals for the newcomers, where they are kept for 10 days under observation before being lodged in cells. As of now there is no one with any symptoms of COVID19,” the prison chief said.

Family members will not be allowed to meet prisoners until further orders. “Prisoners can instead make phone calls on dedicated prison landlines to their loved ones under official supervision,” he added. Under the present circumstances, prisoners are not being sent to court for trial. “Trials are being conducted through video conferencing,” said Alok Mohan IPS.