KSHRC takes stock of prisoners' conditions at B'luru Central Jail

Inmates share their woes over restrictions on various facilities

Members of the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) visited the Central Prisons at Parappana Agrahara on Tuesday to take stock of cases related to human rights violations.

Though senior officials from the prison and the KSHRC termed the visit a regular one, sources in the prison said that the purpose of the visit was to gather details of the prisoners assaulted during the recent fracas while D Roopa was the DIG Prisons. KSHRC officials, including the acting chairperson, Meera C Saksena, arrived at the prison around noon and stayed there for a couple of hours.

An hour prior to their visit, ADGP (Prisons) N S Megharikh visited the prisons and held a meeting with his subordinates, before he interacted with the prisoners. Somshekhar, chief jail superintendent, said: “It was a casual visit by the KSHRC officials who interacted with our inmates and listened to their grievances. The inmates mainly complained about their release, remissions and paroles, which they had previously shared with the jail officials.”

Sources in the prisons said that as soon as the news of KSHRC’s visit spread, prisoners began protesting over tightening of rules related to their parole, release, remissions, consumption of outside food, family visits, etc.

The protest and the KSHRC’s visit come after the Prisons department’s restrictions curtailing the rights of prison inmates, especially after the new prison chief, Megharikh, took over. Megharikh has imposed restrictions over facilities, following allegations over irregularities and favouritism to high-profile inmates.

It might be recalled that the KSHRC had taken up a suo motu case on the alleged assault on the inmates on earlier occasions. It had recommended measures to improve the conditions of prison.

The KSHRC officials have urged the prison staff to follow prison rules while recommending inmates for premature release and parole. They also recommended measures to re-introduce tele-medicine at the prison hospital and recruitment of additional medical staff as doctors were short-staffed. It has also recommended the recruitment of paramedical staff to take care of the ailing inmates.

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