RTI data shows over-crowding of Chhattisgarh prisons
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that Chhattisgarh prisons have a large number of under trial alleged Maoists due to which the prisons have become overcrowded.
The reply states that the three prisons at Kanker, Jagdalpur and Dantewada have a cumulative capacity to house 844 inmates. However, the number of under trials referred to as “alleged Maoists” or “Maoist supporters” in these prisons is 1067. The RTI applicant alleged that if the number of convicts and other under trials is taken into account, the total number of inmates becomes thrice the capacity of the prisons.
The reply also revealed that out of these 1067 alleged Maoists, 1018 are tribals and that many of them are languishing in prisons for years. The data provided in the reply is also supported by a 2009 study by National Human Rights Commission which says that Chhattisgarh prisons accommodate three times more than their capacity.
Being a relatively new state, Chhattisgarh is yet to implement recommendations of Prison Reform Committee which include separate women prison, open prison or preparing a state specific prison manual.