No outside sweets or eatables will be allowed for prisoners across jails in Uttar Pradesh on Raksha Bandhan and physical meetings with anyone will remain completely prohibited, an official order stated on Monday amid COVID-19 outbreak.
The rakhis sent for prisoners by their family members would be provided to them in envelopes after ensuring proper sanitisation, stated the order by the UP Prisons Administration and Reform Services, Lucknow.
There are 72 jails, including five central and 62 district prisons, in the state, according to an official figure. As per the order, prison authorities have to establish COVID-19 helpdesk at a counter outside the jails and ensure proper sanitisation of people coming with Raksha Bandhan gifts for the inmates.
The belongings of visitors and family members of inmates are to be checked. Permitted items- Rakhi, sandalwood, rice are to be collected by prison officials, put in an envelope with the name of inmate and the name and address of the visitor, the guidelines stated. Eatables or sweets will not be accepted in any case and meetings between prisoners and visitors shall remain completely prohibited, it stated.
The prison authorities have been asked to ensure the collection of Rakhi envelopes latest by 4 pm of August 1 after which they would be properly sanitised and handed over to the inmates on August 3, the day of the festival. The order also mentioned that special meals should be provided to the inmates on the first Sunday of the month in view of the festival and warned of action in case of non-compliance of the guidelines.