Most of the Jails in Jammu and Kashmir Overcrowded

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Most of the Jails in Jammu and Kashmir Overcrowded

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Srinagar:  Most of the jails in Jammu and Kashmir are overcrowded, so the state government was taking steps, including construction of new central jail in Srinagar, to address the issue.

The total number of jails in the state at present is 14, out of which nine have the inmate position on the higher side, Minister In-charge Home said in a written reply to a question raised by National Conference (NC) MLC Bashir Ahmad Veeri.

Compared to the total capacity of 3011 in these 14 prisons, 2406 prisoners are in jails. However, some of the prisons have the inmate position much above their original capacity, the reply said.

Though the central jails at Jammu and Srinagar have the capacity of 920 and 360 respectively, the number of prisoners lodged, as on September 30 this year, is on the lower side at 311 and 329 respectively.

However, most of the district jails are overcrowded with District Jail in south Kashmir's Anantnag having more than double the occupancy at 158 compared to the capacity of 60.

Similarly, district jail Jammu has the capacity of 450, while its occupancy is 522, and Baramulla jail 158 against 120, the official data suggests.

The government said it is taking steps to address the issue of overcrowding in the jails.

The Prisons Department has identified 200 kanals of land belonging to Agriculture Department at Zawoora Zewan in Srinagar for the construction of new Central Jail Srinagar, the government said.

It, however, said the records of the Prison Headquarters relating to the subject were washed away in the floods last year.

In view of this, the department has again requested the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to furnish the relevant records for processing the case further, the minister incharge Home said.

He also said the major construction work of the new district jail in Pulwama has been completed except minor renovation works of some structure which could not be taken up due to occupation of the premises by an army unit earlier.

He said DGP has been advised to effect necessary deployment of a company of either CRPF or SSB for the security of the jail so that it is operationalized and the issue of overcrowding of inmates in other jails is addressed.

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