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Dhaka Central Jail to be shifted in April

  • Published at 02:37 pm March 27th, 2016

Existing jail to turn into recreation centre and museum

Turning the Dhaka Central Jail into a recreation centre and museum for city dwellers, the authorities are likely to open it to the public after shifting the inmates to the new facility in the second week of April.

A portion of the jail, which bears a rich history of ancient Dhaka, will also be used as a training centre and the Home Ministry has already taken up a project in this regard. Under the project, some commercial buildings will be erected inside the jail.

The ministry will begin a digital survey of the jail shortly and work will begin soon after all the inmates are shifted to the newly-built prison in Keraniganj, on the outskirts of the capital, according to sources.

Sources said work at the jail situated in Rajendrapur of Keraniganj had already been completed and it would hopefully be opened in the second week of April. April 10 is the tentative date for opening the facility and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be present on the occasion.   

Golam Haider, deputy inspector general of the jail headquarters, said they were ready to begin jail activities at the Keraniganj facility.

The new jail has been built on 194 acres of land in Keraniganj, with buildings built to keep inmates occupying 30 acres.

During a recent visit, this correspondent found that construction of two four-storey buildings for VIP and child inmates, four six-storey buildings for regular and notorious inmates, two hospitals for VIP and regular inmates, and a school for child inmates had been completed.

A workshop, a laundry, a barbershop and a barrack for around a thousand jail guards have also been constructed.

On the premises, different types of fruit and flower trees have been planted.

Jahangir Kabir, senior superintendent of Dhaka Central Jail, told the Dhaka Tribune the old jail would be renovated to a museum before opening it to the public. “Renovation will begin after all the inmates are shifted to the new facility.”   

Dr Rakhalachandra Barman, additional secretary (administration) of the Home Ministry, said a project involving the jail’s renovation had already been taken up.

Sources said the jail authorities would preserve some establishments during renovation and the museum would include the cells of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the four national leaders and the historic Jamuna cell.

The Bangabandhu Memorial Museum has already been established encompassing the Dewani Cell where Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was detained during the Pakistani regime. The museum was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on May 8, 2010.

Soon after the inauguration, the authorities installed separate sculptures of Bangabandhu and the slain four national leaders in front of their cells.

Sources said a park could be built on the premises.

Dhaka Central Jail is the biggest jail in the country. During the time of the East India Company in 1788, the jail was opened after setting up a criminal ward there. In 1929, jails in Dhaka and Rajshahi were declared as central jails. 

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