FROM A REPORTER
SHILLONG, April 24: Inmates at the District Jail in Shillong staged a hunger strike protesting poor quality of food served by the jail authorities to them. The inmates refused to consume the food since yesterday. The protest continued till this morning, said a jail official.
“They have expressed dissatisfaction at the quality of food provided by the jail authorities,” the official source said.
A couple of under trial prisoners who were produced before a court on Friday discreetly told this correspondent, “the food served is pathetic”.
There are more than 300 inmates, including under trial prisoners (UTPs), presently lodged in the jail. The number of inmates is 40 % more than the official intake capacity. It may be mentioned that the capacity of the Shillong district jail is 200.
Sources informed that the inmates have skipped breakfast, lunch and dinner as a mark of protest and are insisting that quality food should be better.
Meanwhile, Director General in charge of prisons BL Buam, while speaking to newsmen, said the inmates have agreed to withdraw their hunger strike. Buam claimed that the reason for the hunger strike was not because of the food quality but due to the cleansing exercises conducted inside the jail. “During the exercise, police have confiscated three mobile phones. One mobile was given up by the inmate himself,” he said.
One of the GNLA cadres who gave up his mobile, confessed that he had given Rs. 5000 to one of the warder, who later was arrested and discharged form service, said Buam.