Maharashtra’s Prisons Are Feeling the Brunt of a Crisis That Could Have Been Averted
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
Despite several directions from the Supreme Court and high court to decongest its overcrowded prisons in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government has neglected the issue.
… The total prison capacity of Maharashtra’s jails is 24,032. As of March 31 this year, 35,124 prisoners were languishing across different Central and district prisons. In April, the number must have further increased. This alarmingly high number – 11,000 more than the actual capacity or 146% occupancy – continues even after the state was directed to work towards decongesting prisons over a year ago.
… Cultural and anti-caste activist Jyoti Jagtap, who was arrested last year for her alleged role in the Elgar Parishad case, is among those who have been infected and has been kept at a temporary centre. Her lawyers have been struggling to establish contact with her to know her medical condition. The temporary set-ups lack basic telephone facilities and many prisoners’ families have complained of their inability to check on the health and well-being of those incarcerated. Meanwhile, advocate and academic Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in the same case and Jagtap, has started showing symptoms.
‘Jail chief has no authority to comment on health of inmate´
The Hindu / by Special Correspondent
Civil rights activists respond to reports of Byculla jail superintendent’s statement on Sudha Bharadwaj.
Several civil rights activists on Saturday said “the jail superintendent is no authority to give an opinion on the clinical condition of a jailed person” while responding to news reports on the Byculla jail superintendent’s comments on the health of Sudha Bharadwaj, one of the accused in the Elgaar Parishad case.