Jammu: From a prison known for housing hardcore militants came sounds of music and drums. For, the inmates of Kot Bhalwal jail on this city's outskirts have set up their own band.
It has been aptly named the Inmates Pipe Band and was inaugurated by B.R. Sharma, principal secretary of the home ministry, Tuesday. Part of a reform initiative, it is the first-ever band created in any prison in Jammu and Kashmir.
The band members will be allowed to go out of the prison confines to perform, officials said.
The band has been formed by the prisons department as part of one its initiatives to reform prisoners and create opportunities for them for a fruitful vocation once they are out of jail. The band is also one of the very few "inmate bands" in the country.
"The basic idea behind the creation of this band was to train inmates in a vocation as a rehabilitation measure and to create an atmosphere of inmate-civil society interaction by sending this band to civil functions outside the prison walls in future," Rajni Shegal, jail superintendent, said at the inaugural function.
The jail once housed Masood Azhar, the founder of Jaish-e-Mohammad, one among the three terrorists exchanged for passengers in the IC-814 hijacking case of December 1999.