Punjab: NHRC Takes Suo Motu Cognizance Of Report That Says 42% Of Prisoners Are Drug Addicts

Punjab: NHRC Takes Suo Motu Cognizance Of Report That Says 42% Of Prisoners Are Drug Addicts

The Commission would also like to know what steps have been taken or proposed to be taken to save the prisoners of the Punjab and Chandigarh jails from the drug menace

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Friday, October 27, 2023, 07:08 PM IST
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NHRC | File Photo

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that official sources have quoted recent studies indicating that 42 % of prisoners in Punjab jails are drug addicts. 

Reportedly, the revelation came during a meeting held by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission with prominent stakeholders and experts to deliberate on challenges within the prison systems of Punjab and Chandigarh. It was attended by the Special DGP, Prisons ADGP, Addl. IG-cum-Superintendent of Jail of Chandigarh and 25 Superintendents of different jails of Punjab.

Commission seeks detailed report within four weeks

The Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, raise a serious issue of human rights violation of the inmates lodged in different jails in the State of Punjab including UT of Chandigarh. Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Prisons, Punjab as well as the Director General of Prisons, Chandigarh calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.

The report should include action taken by the authorities to address the serious issue that came up during the meeting mentioned in the news report. The Commission would also like to know what steps have been taken or proposed to be taken to save the prisoners of the Punjab and Chandigarh jails from the drug menace, in consonance with its advisory of the issued on 19th June, 2023 regarding mitigating deliberate self-harm and suicide attempts by prisoners.

Need to safeguard wellbeing of prisoners

According to the media report, carried on 26th October, 2023, the meeting emphasized the necessity of adhering to the NHRC Guidelines to safeguard the wellbeing of the prisoners. The significant lapses in compliance, leading to instances of tuberculosis-related fatalities within the prison facilities were also highlighted besides, the vital need to establish drug de-addiction centres within the prison system.

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