UTPs, convicts stay together in all district jails

SHILLONG: The Under Trial Prisoners (UTPs) and convicts in Meghalaya are kept together in all the five district jails resulting in unhygienic condition and congestion.
In an official document submitted to the Centre seeking funds to de-congest prisons, the government said the UTPs and the convicts are currently kept together in district jails of Shillong, Tura, Williamnagar, Jowai and Nongpoh.
This has resulted in congestion and overcrowding, especially in Shillong jail and occasionally in Tura, the government admitted, adding that the UTPs and convicts are staying in the same wards and it is not possible to keep prisoners accused of minor offences away from the hardened criminals and militants as advised by the Centre and the National Human Rights Commission through various advisories and even adverse notice of the courts.
Since the state has no central jail, this also results in overcrowding.
The prison population in Shillong jail often exceeds 400 against the authorised capacity of 150.
Recently, the High Court of Meghalaya has expressed anguish over the condition of Shillong jail during a visit.
In this context, the state government has sought Rs 620 crore from the 15th Finance Commission. The amount is required for improvement of existing jails, construction of a central jail in Shillong and more jails in other districts.

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