Apathy mars C'magalur sub jail

The main entrance of district sub jail situated near Chikmagalur bus stand. DH Photo

Almost every jail cell is leaking and living inside these cells during rainy season is becoming increasingly difficult for the inmates.

While the old jail building is only counting days, on the other hand, Public Works Department has been building the new jail building near Rathnagiri for the past 30 years.

The half built building has celebrated its silver jubilee but yet government has not released adequate funds so that the works could be completed. A member from Jail Committee says that whenever they approach the government for funds, the Government has a ready answer: “Today or tomorrow the jail will be demolished.”
The jail which has the capacity to accommodate 100 inmates is presently housing 150 male inmates and 10 women inmates. The number of jail employees has gone down when compared to British era.

One of the employees of the jail on condition of anonymity says that there are four persons deployed in the jail and since they are forced to work on night and day shifts sometimes, it is taking toll on their health.

Further the jail employees’ quarters are situated in close proximity to the jail everywhere in the state barring this one. Due to this reason, nobody is ready to work here.

Employees of the jail say that amidst shortage of personnel, now even arrested naxalites are also kept here, hence government must take action to provide manpower in the jail and increase security. In addition to this, they say that Reserve police often come to take the inmates to the court but if the inmates are not keeping well, then the reserve police do not come forth to take them to the hospital, due to which the responsibility of taking ailing inmates to the hospital is also dumped on their shoulders due to which their daily works suffer.

They say that a jail of this size needs a minimum of 25 guarding personnel but as against this requirement there are only 5 in place in this jail. According to the norms, there should be 2 jailors but here there is no jailor at all. They have urged that the electric poles installed around the jail must be removed and police personnel must be deployed outside the main entrance of the jail.

Many officials feel that government must take steps to complete the construction of the new jail building at the earliest before the situation in the present building goes out of control.

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