Press release on conditions in Sakchi jail

On receipt of some serious complaints from the prisoners, a team of PUCL Jamshedpur visited Sakchi Jail on 10.5.2000. The team met the Jail Supdt. , Shri Ashok Kumar Chowdhary, Dr. Sanjay Kumar Subodh and other staff of the jail. The following areas were discussed to improve the condition of the prisoners and to bring reform.

1) There are some notorious criminals lodged in the jail regularly terrorizing the new comers. These musclemen appears to rule the jail wards. They resort to physical torture and extort money from other prisoners. Such a thing can not continue without the knowledge & support of Jail Authority. Mr. Chowdhary has accepted this and intimated that he had already taken measures to stop these happenings. He has already lodged FIR and arranging to isolate these culprits. Mr. Chowdhary however brought to the knowledge of the team that he is not having required staff and force due to which controlling of the miscreants inside the jail is becoming difficult. PUCL team however differed with his contention and requested him to take suitable measures to stop such "Rangdari Activities" of the Jail mafias.
2. There have been total 786 nos. of prisoners languishing in the Sakchi Jail. Out of these 786 prisoners, only 55 are convicted and rests are under trial prisoners including 23 women. The jail was designed to accommodate about 200 prisoners. Therefore due to space constraint, the condition of these over crowded prisoners are inhuman. However of late Govt. has started constructing the new blocks as part of expansion program. It has been assured that the construction will be completed by Sept. 2000 and hopefully then such tortures of the inmates of the jail will be reduced.

Further it was decided to take up the cases of release of the prisoners lodging in the jail under petty cases as per the directives of Supreme Court. At the same time arrangement should be made to transfer the convicted prisoners to other central jails.

3. It has come to the notice of the PUCL that there are at present 30 TB patients kept in a isolated ward. This figure is pathetically high and many of them have been suffering for quite a long time. TB is no more a incurable decease. Therefore these patients must get all care and medical treatment. It has been informed that Sakchi Jail will have a X- ray machine installed soon.

It is regretted that there has been no other medical staff in jail hospital as such Dr. Sanjay Kumar Subodh is to manage everything single handedly. It is unfortunate that Shri Raghu Nandan, Dresser is working as temporary employee and he is not getting payment since 1992. PUCL team will take up this matter with the Government Authority.

4. The Jail Supdt. has informed the team that due to paucity of fund he could not do much towards improvement but he expects that this state of affair will be over soon. He pressed rotary club to take initiative in a moral reform program.
5. It has been decided to work out programmes for recreational and educational activities for the prisoners in line with recently introduced such programs in Tihar Jail Delhi.

6. It has also come to the notice of the PUCL team that the Police party escorting the prisoners to Sakchi court is ill-treating them in a manner that it reminds as if cattle's are being taken to a slaughter house for butchering. Every prisoner is forced to pay to fulfill the demands of the escorting party. This matter will be taken up with appropriate authority with a view to stop such inhuman & barbarous practices.

Shri Paresh Banerjee on behalf of PUCL team hoped that the above points will be followed strictly for the purpose of bringing improvement in the condition of the prisoners.

May 12,2000

Released by - Mr. M. K. Dutta, V. P. PUCL, Jsr


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(PUCL Bulletin, July 2000)