PATNA: The Patna High Court on Monday sought to know from the Centre if a special cell could be opened in the Union home ministry for Bihar in view of the “grave” law and order situation and rising Naxalite activities, and instructed the state government to file a formal request with New Delhi.
Observing that the Naxalite attack on Jehanabad jail in November last be taken as an “eye opener”, a division bench comprising Chief Justice JN Bhatt and Justice RN Prasad directed the Centre to reply through an affidavit by March 1 if it was possible to open a special cell for the state on the lines of Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and Punjab.
The bench instructed the state government to make a formal request to the Centre on the proposal. The court was hearing a PIL by ‘People’s Watch’ which claimed that the administration failed to prevent the ‘Operation Jailbreak’ on November 13.
After hearing arguments of both the state and the Centre on intelligence inputs and the action taken on them to prevent ‘Operation Jailbreak’ on November 13 night last and the Bihar government’s claim of manpower shortage and infrastructure bottlenecks, the bench suggested the cell be opened in the Union home ministry where a minister or some senior officer could be deputed to specially monitor the situation of Bihar, as part of long-term strategy to deal with crime and Naxalite activities.
The court was hearing a PIL by ‘People’s Watch’ which claimed that the administration failed to prevent the incident despite prior intelligence inputs and sought the court’s directive for fool-proof security in jails to avoid future recurrence.