Punjab’s main opposition Aam Aadmi Party claimed that several jails in the state were overcrowded, forcing prisoners to live in inhuman conditions.
“The jails of Punjab are overcrowded. The number of prisoners lodged in the correctional facilities are much more than the sanctioned capacity, even 95 per cent in excess in one case,” AAP General Secretary Dinesh Chadha and spokesperson Jastej Singh said and claimed that they received information from the office of Additional Director General of Police (Jails) Punjab under the RTI Act.
In a statement to the media, the AAP leaders revealed that 1,215 male prisoners are lodged in Central Jail, Ferozpur, against the sanctioned capacity of 1,100.
“The total capacity of Central Jail, Patiala, is 1,688 for male inmates which currently has 1,790 prisoners, which means the jail is overcrowded by 102 (6 per cent) inmates,” they said.
“Likewise, Central Jail, Amritsar, has the capacity of 1,982 inmates while it houses 3,127 prisoners, 1145 (57 per cent) more than the sanctioned capacity. Central Jail, Hoshiarpur, is having 819 inmates against the sanctioned capacity of 478 as such there are 341 (71 per cent) more inmates.
“District Jail, Sangrur, has the capacity of 584 male prisoners whereas actually it has 843 male prisoners which is 48 per cent more than the limit. District Jail, Rupnagar, is the most overcrowded jail as it houses 660 male inmates against the sanctioned capacity of 338 which is 95 per cent more than the sanctioned limit,” the AAP leaders said.
Mansa Jail has a sanctioned capacity of 401 male prisoners but it has 691 prisoners which is 72 per cent more than the limit.
“Sub Jail Patti has 262 male prisoners against the capacity of 204 while Sub Jail Fazilka has 64 male prisoners against the sanctioned capacity of 48,” they further said.
Chadha stated that number of female inmates also exceeds the sanctioned capacity.
While revealing the information, they said Central Jail Jalandhar (Kapurthala) has a capacity of 120 female prisoners whereas 161 female prisoners are lodged there.
Central Jail Hoshiarpur has a capacity of 45 female inmates against which it houses 51 female prisoners, 13 per cent more than the limit. 98 female inmates are lodged in Central Jail Sangrur against the sanctioned capacity of 32 inmates, which is 45 per cent more than the sanctioned capacity.
“Similarly, Central Jail Rupnagar has the capacity of 25 female inmates but it has 46 inmates which is 84 per cent more than its limit,” Chadha said.
Chadha said that due to over-crowded prisons the inmates are constrained to live in inhuman conditions because it is not possible to maintain proper hygiene, good food and health facilities in over-crowded jails.
“Information received from Central Jail, Ludhiana reveals that there is no programme for reorientation of the criminals. Likewise other jails have also reported that there is no programme for the prisoners. However, Central Jail, Patiala, reported that it runs a yoga training programme where only one inmate gives yoga training to 525 inmates whereas this jail has total 1801 prisoners.