Bhopal jail staff stamp children’s faces, get notice from human rights panel
The children were accompanied their mothers who had come to the Bhopal central jail to tie rakhis on their brothers.bhopal Updated: Aug 08, 2017 19:17 IST
The Madhya Pradesh rights panel has asked the state’s top prison official to explain why Bhopal central jail staff stamped faces of the children accompanying their mothers when they visited their brothers on Rakshabandhan.
The staff had on Monday stamped the visiting children on their cheeks to avoid confusing them with the kids of women prisoners. The round stamp mark in purple ink read Rakshabandhan Parv (Rakshabandhan festival) ...Kendriya Jail, Bhopal.
Director general of jails Sanjay Chaudhary, who has a week to respond to the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission’s notice, told Hindustan Times on Tuesday the mark was usually made on visitors’ palms. When asked if jail personnel would face action, he said, “I will look into it.”
The rights panel took a suo moto notice of the incident and asked for an explanation from the DG prisons, its public relations officer LR Sisodia said.
It was a sign of colonial hangover, rights activist Sachin Jain, who complained to the National Human Rights Commission, said.
“The state authority wants the common man to realise that they are their subjects who are under constant surveillance. The state views them as criminals or like criminals who don’t have a right to live a dignified life,” he said.
Around 8,500 women, many of them with children, were visiting on Monday and there were just four constables stamping visitors’ palms, jail superintendent Dinesh Nargawe said.
“What I have gathered so far is that there was waterlogging and in the rush, some children didn’t get their palms stamped. When the constables spotted them, they put the stamp on their cheeks in a hurry,” Nargawe said.
Advocate Raghvendra Kumar said though there was no provision of punitive action but jail staff violated human rights. It might scar the children psychologically and emotionally, he said.