Cows, goats and pedigree dogs - welcome to a prison farm

October 27th, 2008 - 6:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 27 (IANS) Cows, goats, pedigree dogs and vegetable farming. Well, you could call it a sort of a farm, except it isn’t - it’s the Thiruvananthapuram Central Prison. Situated in the heart of the city, it has come to light that the quarters of many jail officials of the Thiruvananthapuram Central Prison house cows, goats and pedigree dogs. These officials also maintain vegetable gardens which include tapioca plants.

According to media reports, every day many prisoners arrive at the quarters of the prison officials and carry out cleaning and other chores.

Breeding of dogs such as Alsatians and Dobermans brings in good money for those who run temporary kennels, the reports added.

The Thiruvanathapuram Central Prison is housed in an area of around 270 acres and has more than 1,000 prisoners.

The prison operations are managed by 125 wardens, 64 head wardens and two chief wardens, who belong to the Kerala Jail Subordinate Officers Association.

There are 55 staff quarters for these officials and another 15 for jail officials holding the rank of assistant jailor and upwards.

The inspector general of police and director general of police (prisons) stay outside the campus.

The state government had in 1997 and 1999 banned the rearing of animals in staff quarters.

Earlier, the then chief of prisons M.G.A. Raman had conducted a surprise inspection and ordered the closure of all these make-shift farms. Soon afterwards, however, these farms cropped up again.

Chief of Prisons K.P. Somarajan told IANS that action would be taken against those running these illegal farms.

“Currently, I am on tour and once I get back, the rules and procedures would be looked into and strict action would be taken against those violating the rules,” Somarajan said.

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