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Kapurthala jail packed with addicts as police crack down on drugs

About 590 people, mostly drug peddlers, have been lodged in the jail after being arrested by the Jalandhar and Kapurthala police in the last 23 days.

punjab Updated: Jul 24, 2018 14:16 IST
Jatinder Mahal
Jatinder Mahal
Hindustan Times, Kapurthala
Kapurthala jail,Punjab drugs menace,Drugs in Punjab
(Representative Image)

In the wake of the Punjab Police’s anti-drug crackdown in the state, the Kapurthala Modern Jail has been filled beyond its capacity with the majority of the new inmates being addicts.

Against the capacity of 2,690, the jail had 2,948 inmates as of Monday, giving the prison authorities a tough time ensuring order there. Everyday, the jail is receiving an average 26 inmates, most of them in connection with drug-related cases. About 590 people, mostly drug peddlers, have been lodged in the jail after being arrested by the Jalandhar and Kapurthala police in the last 23 days.

The jail is already facing staff shortage.

“Over 80% of inmates arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act are addicts. An addict lodged in the jail was found to be HIV+ on Monday while another was detected with hepatitis-C during mandatory checking by the integrated counselling and testing centre (ICTC). They are likely to have used infected syringes while injecting drugs,” said a senior jail official

The HIV+ man was arrested by the Jalandhar police, he added.

Officials said each of the 90 barracks in the jail has the capacity to accommodate 25-30 prisoners. But these days, some of the barracks are housing 40-50 prisoners each and there is only one warder against seven sanctioned posts for each barrack.

Jail superintendent SP Khanna said they are trying to manage the rush as some inmates get out on bail or secure release.

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 14:13 IST