Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh prisons are holding more than 60 per cent of the permissible capacity of inmates, an RTI response has revealed.
In a reply to an Right to Information (RTI) application filed by social activist, Nutan Thakur, prison officials have informed that there were around 93,301 persons in Uttar Pradesh jails, while the official capacity is 58,111 persons.
Overcrowding is a major problem in Indian jails with the Supreme Court last year terming the situation “not only tragic but also pathetic”.
As per the information dated May 30, 2017, given by Akhtar Riaz, Additional IG (Administration) Jails, there are a total of 70 jails in Uttar Pradesh of which five are central jails at Naini (Allahabad), Varanasi, Fatehabad, Bareilly and Agra, and three are special jails at Lucknow and Bareilly.
These jails can accomodate 58,111 persons, which includes capacity for 51,839 men, 2,956 women and 3,316 juvenile prisoners.
But on April 30, 2017, all these jails combined had 25,975 men, 1,079 women, 83 juvenile and 137 foreign convict prisoners, along with 33 boys and 34 girls living with female convicts, taking the number to 27,274 convict prisoners and 67 children.
There were also 59,507 men, 2,706 women, 3,001 juvenile, 227 foreigner and 115 other undertrials, along with 239 boys and 165 girls with women undertrials, taking the total number of undertrial prisoners to 65,556 along with 404 children.
Thus, the total number of persons in the state’s jails stands at 93,301 — with 11,470 in the central jails and 699 are in special jails. This includes 364 foreign prisoners as well.
The number of undertrials is almost 2.4 times the number of convicts.
Talking to IANS, Nutan Thakur said: “The overcrowding of the state prisons along with presence of such large number of undertrials is indeed a worrying situation that needs to be sorted out without delay.”
Since the past few years, Uttar Pradesh prisons have become war zones with many riots and incidents of violence reported.