Inmates don't suffer in Tihar Jail, they bloom

24 prisoners to work in semi-open jail system

Of the 200 shortlisted inmates for semi-open jail facility at Tihar Jail, only 24 have been selected and will soon be allotted various works at the prison premises, said a Tihar official. But for the undertrials, it a long journey ahead.

“We have selected 24 convicts for semi-open jail system and will soon place them within various ongoing works of public works department in Tihar Jail,” said Vimla Mehra, director general (prison). If these inmates work properly, they might in next few years be  sent to work outside and then return in the evening.

While the convicts serving life imprisonment too feel this as the biggest opportunity to connect with the society, the undertrials feel themselves left out.

“We can’t do anything. Our cases are still pending in courts and for few, their trials have not yet begun,” said Amit Saxena, who is in Tihar Jail for attempt to murder for last nine years and his trial is yet to begin.

Like Saxena, as many as 164 male and 16 female undertrials are lodged who for last five years are still waiting for their court cases to end or to start.

There are 165 male and 10 female undertrials waiting for the same for last four years. “There are also few who have been waiting for trials to begin and courts to give verdict for last nine to 10 years,” said a jail official.

These undertrials too keep themselves away from the tension, anger and frustration, however, for a brief period get involved in various other reformative programmes like painting, reading, and music.

They count days when they are being convicted or being released from the prison.
“When convicted, they are quite and calm and wait for their days to be released from the prison,” said the official.

When they get an opportunity of semi-open jail, they physiologically recover themselves and start getting attached to the society.

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