The Maharashtra government has provided Rs 5 lakh as ‘secret service fund’ to the prisons department to improve intelligence gathering in jails, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has informed the state Legislative Council.
Of the total funds, Rs 85,000 have been used so far, he added.
In a written reply, Fadnavis told the Upper House on Wednesday that the government allocated Rs 5 lakh in the 2018-19 budget.
He was replying to a query by Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe, who sought to know the total amount of funds and how they have been used.
In his reply, Fadnavis said funds have been made available for purposes like gathering information on whether any prohibited substances were being secretly brought into the jail and used.
The funds are also meant for gathering information about the possible escape attempts by prisoners, conspiracies to stoke violence or attack on other prisoners, he said.
The chief minister added that the money would also be used for information on those convicts, who jump parole or furlough.
“In order to ensure that connivance between prisoners and jail staff does not pose a threat to the security of the jail, regular information gathering is required,” he said.
Fadnavis said these funds would also be used to gather information to ensure safety of the prisoners, when they are taken to courts or hospitals for treatment.