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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Nabha jail inmates hold protest against superintendent

Sit on hunger strike: Inmates say the jail superintendent is corrupt and misbehaves with them.

punjab Updated: Jun 08, 2018 15:16 IST
Mohit Singla
Mohit Singla
Hindustan Times, Nabha
The Nabha Open Agricultural Jail has 64 acre agricultural land, which is cultivated by the inmates.
The Nabha Open Agricultural Jail has 64 acre agricultural land, which is cultivated by the inmates.(HT Photo)

The inmates of Nabha Open Agricultural Jail went on a hunger strike to mark their protest against the jail superintendent here on Thursday. The inmates are sitting on a dharna on the jail premises.

The jail has 70 inmates, selected by a committee of high jail officials. The inmates are serving life imprisonment in different crimes. The jail has 64 acre agricultural land, which is cultivated by the inmates. The inmates have accused the jail superintendent of being corrupt and said that he misbehaves with them.

The inmates alleged that superintendent Sucha Singh was forcing them to fill fuel tanks of the tractors and asking them to meet other expenses of machinery, while he was charging for the same from the government by submitting fake bills.

Inmate Gurbachan Singh said, “We are being tortured here. The jail authorities turn off power supply in the hot weather. Vegetables that we cultivate here are being sold outside, instead of serving us.” “Earlier, we were allowed to sleep outside the barracks during summers, but now, they don’t let us out and cut the power supply to harass us,” added Gurbachan.

The inmates further alleged that the jail authorities sold main trunk of 27 trees from the new district jail and stored lower trunk in the open jail. “The meeting room for inmates and their visitors has been converted into a storeroom and the visitors are harassed and returned back,” said another inmate Gurtej Singh.

Inmate Amandeep Singh is allegedly sitting on a hunger strike since the past three days to protest against the authorities changing his barrack. “My previous barrack shed was covered by husk and weed to reduce heat. I am demanding the same on this new barrack, but the demands are not being met,” he complained.

Other inmates also came along to protest against the authoities for ignoring their grievances. The inmates alleged that the superintendent uses foul language.

Jail superintendent Sucha Singh denied all allegations and said that the trees were cut down from the new district jail after due permission, as they were hampering the boundary walls. The same have been stored here, he said.

“The vegetables grown by the inmates are used in the jail kitchen and the income from extra produce is spent on jail premises,” he added. He further said that the inmates were protesting due to his strictness. “I am was working as per the jail manuals which is troubling the inmates who are habitual to relaxations,” he said.   

Meanwhile, Sadar station house officer (SHO) Bikkar Singh Sohi visited the jail premises to take stock of the situation. He tried to persuade the inmates to end the strike and submit a written memorandum to the government. But the protesting inmates refused to do so until their demands are met.

First Published: Jun 08, 2018 15:16 IST

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