Current AffairsIndia

90% inmates in Jammu & Kashmir jails are undertrial prisoners, 54% released on bail/parole after April 2020: RTI reply

Over 90 percent of the prisoners lodged in jails of Jammu and Kashmir are under trial prisoners, a response by the Prisons Department of Jammu to a request under the Right to Information (RTI) Act revealed.

The reply by Public Information Officer (PIO) of Director-General of Police, Prisons Department, Jammu further said that less than 2% of all individuals arrested in militancy-related cases had been convicted.

The response came in a Right to Information (RTI) request filed by two students, Tajamul Islam and Aabid Mushtaq, from the University of Kashmir’s Law Department.

The reply dated December 7, 2020, revealed, among other things, the following:

  •         4,131 prisoners are held in jails across Jammu and Kashmir as of 6 December 2020, including 4,005 men and 126 women.
  •         Of these prisoners, 3,735 are currently under trial, of which 747 have been arrested in militancy-related cases.
  •         Of those in prison for militancy-related cases (761), merely 1.8% (14) have been convicted.
  •         Overall, a staggering 90.4 % of the total prisoners lodged in Jammu and Kashmir prisons are still undergoing trial.
  •         Notably, the fourteen jails’ total intake capacity across Jammu and Kashmir is 3,660, indicating that these jails presently lodge prisoners beyond their holding power.
  •         The Central Jail in Jammu’s Kot Balwal holds the highest number of prisoners, with 709 prisoners as of 6 December 2020.
  •         The highest number of prisoners (147) accused in militancy-related cases are lodged in a single facility of Srinagar’s Central Jail.
  •         2,195 undertrial prisoners and 41 convicted prisoners were released on bail or parole from April 2020 to date.

In its reply, the office of the DGP also said that it “does not have information about all the prisoners of J&K lodged in prisons outside J&K” under preventive detention laws. The DGP office only had partial information on this aspect, divulging that 43 prisoners from Jammu and Kashmir are currently held outside the Union Territory, in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

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