The Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has expressed serious concern over the dilapidated condition of the jails in Karimganj and Hailakandi districts.
During a three-day visit to Barak Valley, which ended on Monday, the AHRC team, comprising its chairman Justice T. Vaiphei, N.K. Bora and D.K. Saikia, visited three jails in the valley in southern Assam.
Justice Vaiphei said though overcrowded, the condition of Silchar jail is better compared to the ones in Hailakandi and Karimganj.
He said the Hailakandi jail is unhygienic with a poor drainage system. It has no healthcare facility. The team expressed dissatisfaction over the lodging of undertrials, suspected criminals and doubtful citizens in a common place.
The team alleged that it is violation of human rights as there should be separate cells for each of these categories, Vaiphei added.
He said Hailakandi immediately requires a new jail with all modern facilities. The team also checked the present status of an under-construction jail building on the outskirts of Hailakandi town.
They said this is a Rs 25-crore project and the government is yet to release Rs 23 crore. The team assured the jail authorities that they would write to the National Human Rights Commission to look into the matter for the funds’ early release.
The team also expressed dissatisfaction over the Karimganj jail’s pitiable condition. They said the jail building was constructed in 1885 and it should be immediately repaired. They also interacted with the inmates.
During their visit to Silchar jail, the team inspected the conditions of the Rohingya refugees kept inside the jail along with 14 minors. They said there are no separate places for convicts, undertrials and doubtful voters in this jail as well.
The team asked the jail authorities to take immediate measures to separate the doubtful citizens. They also visited detention camps in Silchar.
Justice Vaiphei added that Barak Valley topped in human rights violation cases in Assam and most of the cases are against police. He said around five cases of human rights violation are lodged in the state every day.