Centre to send 200 CISF commandos for security of Punjab jails

New Delhi (PTI): The Centre has decided to dispatch 200 central paramilitary commandos to guard over six high-security jails in Punjab which house dreaded criminals including Khalistani militants, amid reports of re-emergence of extremism in the state.

Officials said the Union home ministry has sanctioned 200 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel to be deployed at the jails in Patiala, Ludhiana, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Amritsar and Nabha prisons.

They said the proposal came after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh last month met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and requested for a special contingent of paramilitary forces for his state.

The two companies (about 200 personnel) of the CISF will soon be sent to Punjab and the state will deploy them in chosen jails as per their requirement, they said.

The ministry has also asked the CISF to depute a team of special officers who will survey the prisons so that the CISF deployment can be made permanent.

At present they will be deployed on a temporary duty pattern but it is expected that this task will be regularised soon, they said.

The Punjab chief minister during his meeting with Rajnath Singh had urged him to prepare a comprehensive strategy to deal with the “re-emergence of extremism” in the state, amid reports that Sikh youths were being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan.

He had also apprised the Union home minister of the law and order situation in Punjab, including issues related to attempts to create disturbance in the state through targeted killings.

The  CISF is tasked to guard vital installations in the aerospace and nuclear domain in the country.