Pics of politicians, actors removed from Kerala jails

The authorities on Sunday removed photographs of politicians and film stars from major jails across Kerala and were also preparing to shuffle prisoners, an official said.

Such photographs were inappropriate in jails, the official said. As for the reshuffle this will ensure that a prisoner in lodged in a jail in a city other than where a crime has been committed to prevent interference with the investigations.

'It was only last night that the home minister signed the order and we swung into action without any delay. In all more than 250 pictures was removed and the maximum was from Kannur jail, besides the central prison here,' Additional Director General of Police [Jails], Alexander Jacob told IANS.

'The decision to remove the pictures of religious deities have been deferred and would be done in the next round,' he said.

Pictures of legendary CPI-M and Congress leaders, film stars occupied the walls of major jails, including Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram. Pictures of leaders like E M S Namboodiripad, A K Gopalan, Azhikodan Raghavan, Che Guevera to name a few adored the prison walls.

'It must be noted that since the pictures were hung on the walls, the Kannur jail was not painted for the past three decades. Our jail staff not only removed these pictures, but also gave the prison walls a fresh coat of paint,' added Jacob.

Jacob also said that prisoners will be shuffled from one jail zone to the other. 'Through this, a prisoner in Kannur jail indicted of a crime done in Kannur will now be moved to another jail, far away from Kannur. Through this we expect to keep away the prisoner from his close aides,' added Jacob.

These new changes have been on the pipeline ever since Oommen Chandy government assumed office. And when Chandy gave up the home portfolio such changes were on the cards.
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