In the wake of increasing threats to prisons, the administration on Wednesday heightened security around Haripur jail.
Entry and exit points have been barricaded and officials of the elite force deployed to guard the prison. Jail officials and the police have sent a request to the provincial government for deployment of over 100 soldiers of the Frontier Constabulary outside Haripur jail, according to sources.
Following last Sunday’s jailbreak in Bannu by Taliban, prison officials and the local administration in Haripur like other parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, have taken precautionary measures to preempt another strike by militants. Since Haripur is the second biggest prison in the province where hardcore criminals and militants, including members of the Taliban are detained, the authorities have made extraordinary security arrangements.
Haripur jail officials also confirmed receiving threats in the recent past. “Yes we have received threats twice which is why we have asked for reinforcements,” said an official source.
He also disclosed that Niaz, one of the co-accused in the Musharraf assassination attempt case along with Adnan Rasheed, was shifted to Haripur jail from Mansehra two days ago, forcing the administration to heighten security.
Sources said that Haripur jail houses over 1600 inmates, including Taliban militants and convicts of high-profile cases like an assassination attempt on former prime minister Shaukat Aziz. Security around Mansehra Jail was also increased.
There is one central jail and four district jails in Hazara. After it was destroyed in the 2005 earthquake, the Abbottabad district jail is still under construction.
DIG Hazara police Dr Naeem Khan visited Haripur jail to examine security arrangements and directed the police and jail administration to remain vigilant while on duty.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2012.
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