In an astounding video of prisoners emerging from the premises of jail in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district has put the prison security under scrutiny.
A video that has been widely shared on social media finds two prisoners charged with murder flaunting pistols and making provocative statements against the Yogi Adityanath government.
Brazenly walking around the premises, the inmates could be seen posing for the camera, panning across jail compound, ostentatiously showing drugs and then shoving it off into the pockets.
Apart from brandishing pistols, the prisoners could be seen getting outside food and consuming alcohol within the premises. The prisoner can also be seen talking about turning the jail into an office.
The police department said that the video of the inmates - Amrish and Gaurav Pratap Singh, who also goes by the name Ankur - was circulated on the social media on June 23.
Action has been initiated against four officials of Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district jail, after a video of two inmates holding a country-made pistol inside the prison premises went viral on the social media, officials said on Wednesday.
The Uttar Pradesh home department, however, came up with a bizarre clarification saying the pistol was apparently "made of clay" and looked real because one of the two inmates is a "good painter". The statement also issued a clarification on the food being laid out for these inmates.
In a statement about the video, the UP home department said, "During the probe, it was found that Gaurav is a very good painter, and the country-made pistol shown in the video is actually made of clay (mitti)."
"Apart from this, all the food items, which are seen in the video, are regular items which are given to the inmates. None of the items were brought from outside or are objectionable," the statement added.
Terming the entire sequence of events as "serious", Additional Director General (Prisons) Anand Kumar said, "In the investigation, it was found that the incident was done in collusion with some jail officials to put pressure on the jail administration."
"In this context, head jail warders Mata Prasad and Hemraj, jail warder Awadhesh Sahu and Saleem Khan have been found to be colluding with the inmates, and action is being initiated against them as per rules," he added.
AK Singh, the jail Superintendent of the Unnao District Jail stated that a report has been submitted to the relevant authorities and that action will be taken in this regard.
The Additional Director General also said that the video dates back to February, and inmates can be seen in winter clothing.
"Inmate Amrish was brought to Unnao jail from Meerut, while Gaurav was transferred from Lucknow," he said.The statement also said that inmate Amrish, a resident of Meerut, is serving a life-term for murder and loot, while inmate Gaurav, who is from Rae Bareli is serving time for several cases of loot and murder."
(With PTI inputs)