From our Special Correspondent
SILCHAR, June 19: Human Rights Organization of Cachar has drawn the attention of the Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court, Justice A K Goel, to the various deficiencies in the maintenance of Silchar Central Jail and its requirements during his recent visit here. The Chief Justice went round the jail, interacted with the prisoners and the officials in order to know about the facilities and amenities provided to the inmates and also to have a first hand knowledge of the problems being faced by them. The Supreme Court of India has been monitoring the affairs inside the jails across the country in order to prevent or check any ill treatment or inconvenience to the prisoners. The violation of human rights is viewed seriously. The Chief Justice was accompanied by Justice, B P Barkataki, Bishnu Debnath, district and sessions judge, Cachar, Irabat Singha, advocate and president, Human Rights Organization, Cachar.
The Human Rights Organization in its memorandum pointed out that during a visit to the jail here a few years ago it came across various deficiencies in the matter of sleeping arrangements including beds, clothings and mosquito nets. It found a separate system in the arrangement for civil and criminal prisoners, besides sanitation in accordance with the number of prisoners. It also noticed the flaws in the medical treatment, attention as well as provision of medicines for the sick and ailing prisoners. According to the manuals of jail, the prisoners are not provided amusement or entertainment.
The Human Rights Organization also noted deficiencies in providing nutritious food, mandatory moral teaching on weekly basis for the reformation of the prisoners along with facility for prayers according to their belief and faith. The jail is also lacking in making provision for the engagement of the inmates in cottage industries and other works as well as facility of indoor games. The jail was also over crowded with 530 against the food provision of 429 prisoners.
Another area of concern expressed by the Organization was in respect of the denial of fundamental rights of prisoners to meet their family members or relatives. Some prisoners of paramilitary force and residents of Punjab, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh complained to the members of the Organization. They also expressed their desire to be shifted to the jails of their own districts. Their visit to the female ward revealed that the children of mothers were not provided sufficient nutritious food.
In order to meet the deficiencies and to extend the facilities to the prisoners, Human Rights Organization prepared a scheme of Rs 50 lakh and placed before the National Human Rights Commission and the State Human Rights Commission. According to their information, Rs 27 lakh was sanctioned. The Organization expressed its desire to impart preliminary knowledge of legal education to the selected prisoners for social and natural ambience as emphasized by Justice Ranga Nath Misra, the first chairperson of National Human Rights Commission of India.
Irabat Singha, leading advocate and president of Human Rights Organization reminded that a few years ago Gopal Krishna Menon, senior advocate of Supreme Court of India and commissioner NLM visited Silchar Jail who released some lunatic prisoners convicted of crimes generally committed by mentally unsound or disbalanced persons who could in no way be treated as lunatic criminals, but were undergoing various jail terms.