Appalling conditions in Sakchi jail
PUCL Jharkhand letter to NHRC
[Earlier reports on Sakchi jail on PUCL website ]
[A team of the Jharkhand PUCL visited the Sakchi jail, East Singhbhum, Jharkhand recently. It has sent its report to the National Human Rights Commission on the pathetic and highly condemnable conditions revealing there to the National Human Rights Commission on January 4, 2007. We reproduced the report below. – General Secretary]
The Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi 110 001.
34 disabled persons including 12 women, 7 in wheel chairs, 12 with artificial limbs and 3 completely blinds are languishing in Sakchi Jail, East Singhbhum, Jharkhand since 26th Dec., 2006 without any facilities to handle them. Three are on Hunger Strike.
25 prisoners are suffering from small pox and due to overcrowding, absence of proper treatment and care and arrangement of isolation; the Pox is spreading like epidemic.
Large number of prisoners and under trials in Sakchi jail, the district jail of East Singhbhum of Jharkhand State are suffering from small pox. The jail is overcrowded. About 780 prisoners are languishing in pathetic condition when the capacity is 198 only. Because of such overcrowding, it has become difficult to isolate all the affected prisoners in separate ward and as a result the disease is spreading very fast to take shape of epidemic. Six prisoners were sent to MGM medical Hospital. Four have been released from the Hospital and they are back again at jail. Two, Laxmi Saini and Kartik Kalindi are still in Government Hospital. There is no jail Doctor posted in the jail. District Civil Surgeon has sent Dr Saigal and Dr K L Murmu on deputation. Both the Doctors are on contact job.
Unable to cope up with the grave situation, the jail authority called the priest of Sakchi Sitala Mandir and Tara Mata Mandir of Parssudih today and arranged elaborate puja offerings inside the jail premises where all the prisoners were made to attend to offer Prayers.
Jail ward no. 3, which is known as Hospital ward, is still occupied by many able and healthy persons who pay Rs 1200/- for the cot and Rs 600/- for the floor below the cot. Corruption in other areas in the jail is continuing unchecked. Most shameful part is that the construction of Gaghidiih jail with 250 capacity is still incomplete even after 5 years and every time new fund is coming and some construction is going on almost unending.
Added to this inhuman situation, 34 disabled persons of ‘Rashtriya Viikalang Party’ with their National President, State President, and other office bearers including 12 women have been implicated under section 353, 504, and 379 IPC and sent to Sakchi jail on 26.12.06. They organised a demonstration in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner, East Singhbhum to press their demands. The demonstrators, in the absence of any ramp, wanted the DC to come down from the first floor to collect the memorandum, which the Deputy Commissioner, allegedly refused. This aggravated the situation and police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the demonstrators. An altercation took place and many disabled persons were injured.
It is unfortunate that the section 379 IPC was deliberately inserted later on i.e. on the next day to teach them a lesson and to demoralize them for organising the protest demonstration.
They were arrested against the guideline for arrest set by the Apex court in the case of Joginder Kumar in 1994. The jail is not equipped with to deal with such disabled persons, as most of them require trained worker or family members for assistance and care.
We request you to take cognizance of this report and initiate immediate proceedings under your jurisdiction. Yours faithfully,
For PUCL Jharkhand, – S Bhattacharjee, President, January 4, 2007 .