Srinagar, Nov 14: With the rapid increase in the number of persons arrested across the state, confusion prevails between the Home and Prisons Department over the number of prisoners lodged in Jammu and Kashmir jails
Both these departments are giving contradictory figures about the number of detainees lodged in different J&K prisons.
According to official statistics of Home Department, there are 9329 prisoners lodged in 13 prisons in J&K with the highest number of prisoners 2673 in Central jail Srinagar, followed by 2075 prisoners in Central jail Kotbhalwal, 1696 in district jail Baramulla, 975 in district jail Udhampur , 537 in district jail Kathua, 364 in district jail Jammu, 239 in district jail Kishtwar, 184 in district jail Rajouri, 176 in district jail Kupwara, 172 in district jail Poonch, 106 in sub-jail Reasi and 47 in sub jail Hira Nagar.
This information was also given out in the Legislative Assembly by Home Ministry in a written reply. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is presently holding the charge of Home Department.
However, according to the figures available at the official website of the Jammu & Kashmir Prisons Department, the present intake capacity of 14 functional jails is 3011 while as 2409 prisoners are lodged in these prisons.
Director Inspector General (DIG) prisons Dr Mohammad Sultan Lone while endorsing the official figures of his department said it was wrong that there are 9329 prisons lodged in J&K jails.
“We have not given any such figures to the government that were presented in the Assembly. We don’t know where the government got such figures. There are around 2400-2500 prisoners lodged in J&K jails in against the strength of around 3100,” Lone told The Kashmir Monitor.
Recently in its report by a team of Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) said that over 505 prisoners are lodged in Central jail Srinagar in against the strength of 300.
The team in its report has recommended immediate measures for reducing the number of prisoners in the jail and providing basic facilities to them.
The DIG also admitted that there was lot of pressure on the Central jail Srinagar due to increase in number of arrested persons here.
“Government has made a proposal for shifting of Central jail Srinagar to other place as there is no scope to expand it at its present location. The location for its shifting has not been decided yet but the government has to take the decision,” he informed.
According to sources, the Central jail Srinagar and Kot Bhalwal jail Jammu authorities are facing a tough time in accommodating new prisoners. Officials said all the barracks in these two prisons are packed over to the capacity.
It has been learnt that there is always a danger of minor scuffles turning into clashes due to overcrowd.
This year, Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah was killed by jail inmates at Kot Bhalwal jail. “If such incidents have to be avoided in future than the number of prisoners lodged in Kot Bhalwal has to reduced as per its capacity as we are not able to keep proper surveillance on jail inmates,” officials revealed.
(Kashmir Monitor)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email