SILCHAR, Oct 1: Among all the jails in the state of Assam, Silchar Central Jail has come out with the distinction of being the first in providing medical treatment, investigation and medicines free of cost to the prisoners. This has been possible due to the constant and consistent pursuance of the District Legal Services Authority of Cachar. In a letter to the Prof. and Head of the Department of Radiology, Pathology, Micro Biology and Bio Chemistry, Silchar Medical College and Hospital, the Superintendent of SMCH has advised free medical investigation and medical care in respect of the convicts.
The letter in question has been specifically been in respect of life convict Abdul Jalil. He has been referred to the various investigation departments for free test as ordered by a court. However, for investigation related to MRI and CT Scan, counter sigture of head of the departments concerned is necessary. M H Barbhuiya, secretary, District Legal Services Authority of Cachar, said the prisoners and convicts notwithstanding their offences are human beings and deserve human treatment. Their sentences under various sections of IPC do not make them immune from the treatment in a jail that they deserve.
After interaction with some prisoners by The Sentinel today and going round the arrangements and basic facilities for them inside the Central Jail, the impression gathered is that during the last few months, there has been much improvement in the conditions inside. Around 600 prisoners are presently lodged here. With the joining of the new Superintendent, Haren Chandra Kalita, and his sincere efforts, the changes could be possible, admit the prisoners in general. Moreover, the exertion and exercise of his good offices, M H Barbhuiya has shown how things could be changed for better.
Jail authorities concerned are often blamed for not taking proper care of the prisoners despite the allotment of required funds for the purpose. A general complaint is about poor quality of food served to them. Now, prisoners are happy with not only quality of food but also the neat and clean environment around. It is really heartening to see well-planned gardening that has added a sort of greenery and colour in the otherwise dull and dismal atmosphere of the Jail. All this has no doubt a salutary impact on the inmates behind the four-walls.
As reported earlier in The Sentinel about the lack of attending physician and medicines for the sick and ailing prisoners, much has improved now. Dr. Pik Dey is the in-charge of the jail hospital. Moreover, a medical team has been constituted with the following doctors who will visit Central Jail on every Saturday of the first week of a month to examine the UTP / convicts inside. The doctors enlisted are Eden Sinha, registrar of surgery, Thirthankar Roy, registrar of medicine, Ahmed Hussain Choudhury, registrar of cardiology, Himabrata Das, registrar of psychiatry, Joydeep Roy, registrar of dermatology, Faruk Ahmed Choudhury, registrar of orthopaedics, T U Bhutia, registrar of ophthalmology, and Mas Pratim Das, registrar of ENT, all are from SMCH.