GUWAHATI: Though the overall capacity of jails in Assam is 8,938, they remain overcrowded almost daily. For instance, the Guwahati Central Jail also exceeded its capacity of 1,000 by 360 inmates in the evening of February 14.
To tackle such overcrowding, the State Prisons authority has decided to construct additional facilities to accommodate the additional inmates in the jails, informed sources.
Meanwhile, double-storied accommodation facilities have been already completed in Jorhat Central Jail and Goalpara District Jail. More such buildings are about to be completed in Silchar Central Jail as well as in the district jails at Kokrajhar, Golaghat, Biswanath, Sonari, Udalguri, and Karimganj. Similar accommodation expansion projects have been undertaken within the premises of the four district jails at Nalbari, Tinsukia, North Lakhimpur, and Barpeta besides the Sub Jail at Haflong.
Construction works are being carried out at the newly established district jails at Baksa and Chirang besides a mental wing in Tezpur Central Jail. A jail hospital is also being constructed in Sadiya. The double-storied Ward No-V within the premises of Guwahati Central Jail will be also revamped vertically.
Dwelling on the reasons as to why the Guwahati Central Jail remains overcrowded most of the time, the sources added, "This Jail caters to two districts – Kamrup (M) and Kamrup. Hence, the number of cases in Guwahati is more as compared to the other districts.
"Moreover, this jail remains overcrowded as most of the investigating agencies like the NIA (National Investigation Agency), CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), and the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) with their headquarters in the city too lodge the accused persons in various cases here after the persons are granted judicial custody."
Of the 31 jails in Assam, six are Central Jails, 22 District Jails, one Special Jail at Nagaon, an 'Open Air Jail' at Jorhat, and a sub jail at Haflong.
The six Central Jails are located at Guwahati, Tezpur, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, and Nagaon.
The 22 district jails are at Nalbari, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Goalpara, Mangaldoi, Hailakandi, Karimganj, North Lakhimpur, Sivasagar, Golaghat, Majuli, Abhayapuri, Diphu, Hamren, Biswanath Chariali, Dhemaji, Morigaon, Sonari, Tinsukia, Sadiya, and Udalguri.