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MLAs see red over jail affairs

Members of the Assembly Standing Committee have criticised the state of affairs at Presidency jail and Alipore Central Jail, during a visit a fortnight ago.

Jail officials said on Friday that a 14-member team, led by committee chairman Abdul Mannan, also Congress MLA from Champdani, in Hooghly, visited each cell and inquired after the quality of food being served to the inmates. They were also asked if they were being given blankets in winter.

Sources said some of the inmates complained to the panel members about the theft of medicines being provided to them by the jail authorities, apart from an irregular supply and smuggling of such medicines.

Later, the MLAs held a meeting with the two jail superintendents and other officials to inquire about their plans. They have asked the officials to repair the sewerage system in the jails without delay. “We also suggested yoga and meditation programmes for the prisoners,” said superintendent of Alipore jail Ramapada Bhattacharya.

Mannan refused to divulge his interaction with the prisoners. He said he would place the report in the Assembly when the winter session begins.

He added that the jail officials had cooperated with the members during the visit.

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