Thursday November 23, 2017

One Prisoner Dies every 5.5 Hours in Indian Jails, says Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Report

Muslims and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes are always over-represented in the prison population

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Representation image. Flickr

New Delhi, November 8, 2016: A human rights group on Tuesday said one prisoner dies every 5.5 hours in Indian jails and that there are three times more mentally ill and 61 percent more women prisoners in the country compared with the figures 15 years ago.

More than 60 percent of the inmates lodged in Indian jails are awaiting trial, a number less than only 17 countries in the world, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) said here.

The group released two of its reports — Looking into the Haze: A Study on Prison Monitoring in India and Circle of Justice: A National Report on Under Trial Review Committees on Prison Monitoring.

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India's 1,401 jails held 419,623 prisoners as against their total capacity of 366,781. Click To Tweet

The reports also said that the Muslims and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes are always over-represented in the prison population, up to two-thirds of the total, and that 70 per cent of the prisoners are either illiterates or under-matriculates.

Citing the latest National Crime Records Bureau report, the CHRI said India’s 1,401 jails held 419,623 prisoners as against their total capacity of 366,781.

The organisation said its analysis revealed that some state prisons housed twice the number of prisoners they could hold, and the number going up to 500 per cent occupancy rate.

The reports were released by Wajahat Habibullah, a former Chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities, followed by a discussion between representatives of the civil society and State Human Rights Commissions (SHRC).

Habibullah, pointing to the dire consequences of unreformed Indian prisons, said many minors arrested during outbreaks of violence in Jammu and Kashmir a decade ago had now emerged as leaders of the ongoing violence in the valley.

He said it was a probable outcome of their incarceration with “hardened criminals”, instead of being lodged in juvenile detention homes as should have happened as per the law.

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Professor Shamim Modi from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, spoke about her experience as an undertrial prisoner in Madhya Pradesh during her activist days in that state.

“In prison, you have to accept the fact that you are not human. They put you in (prison) to set you right,” Modi said. When she complained of rats biting her toes at night, she said, she was told not to expect hotel comforts in jail.

Shailesh Gandhi, former Information Commissioner at the Central Information Commission, pointed out to non-clearance of the huge backlog of pending cases, which, he said, added to the misery of undertrials, who are kept confined without trial.

“The elephant in the room is the judiciary whose accountability is never mentioned,” Gandhi said.

The CHRI said data from 26 states and Union Territories was gathered and analysed for the reports.

One of the states missing from the report was Madhya Pradesh, against which Modi had a few sharp words to say.

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“I know Madhya Pradesh won’t be there in the report. They blatantly tell you ‘we are not going to give you any data. Do whatever you can’,” she said.

John Dayal, a civil rights activist, raised doubts about the role of SHRCs and State Minorities Commissions vis-a-vis proper prison guidelines, calling them of “dubious character”.

“(Indian) Prison is a very porous institution. There are criminals with access to latest phones, but a majority of prisoners, Dalits and other poor, are left wanting for most basic amenities. And then there are Maoists, 95 per cent of whom are innocent. We need to work for them and against a political will which does not want things to change,” he said. (IANS)

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Crimes Against Women Perpetrate in Every two Minutes: NCRB Analysis

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Crimes against women in India
Father, left and mother, center of the Indian student victim who was fatally gang raped on this day three years back on a moving bus in the Indian capital join others at a candle lit vigil in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. VOA
  • Any kind of physical or mental harm towards women is deemed as  “crime against women”
  • Domestic violence is the most dominant crime against women
  • Andhra Pradesh state is the highest to report crimes against women in the period of ten years

Sep 20, 2017: A report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) suggests that crimes against women have increased violently in the last ten years with an estimated figure of  2.24 million crimes. The figure is also suggestive of the fact: 26 crimes against women are reported every hour, or one complaint every two minutes, reports IndiaSpend analysis.

The most dominant crime against women with 909,713 cases reported in last decade was ‘cruelty by husbands and relatives’ under section 498‐A of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

‘Assault on women’ booked under section 354 of IPC is the second-most-reported crime against women with 470,556 crimes.

‘Kidnapping and abduction of women’ are the third-most-reported crime with 315,074 crimes, followed by ‘rape’ (243,051), ‘insult to modesty of women’ (104,151) and ‘dowry death’ (80,833).

The NCRB report also listed three heads, namely commit rape (4,234), abetment of suicide of women (3,734) and protection of women from domestic violence (426) under which cases of crime against women have been reported in 2014.

Andhra Pradesh has reported the most crimes against women (263,839) over the past 10 years.

Andhra Pradesh state is the highest (263,839) to report crimes against women in the period of ten years. Crimes reported for insult (35,733) ranks first followed by cruelty by husband relatives (117,458), assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty (51,376) and dowry-related deaths (5,364).

West Bengal (239,760) is second most crime against women state followed by Uttar Pradesh (236,456), Rajasthan (188,928) and Madhya Pradesh (175,593).

Abduction increased up to three folds over the recent years,  with Uttar Pradesh being the worst affected state. Cases rose from 15,750 cases in 2005 to 57,311 cases in 2014.

Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94


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World Suicide Prevention Day: Empathizing with the Depressed Can Curtail Chances of Suicide, Suggests Study

The key is to be empathic and not be sympathetic because people in a depressive state of mind only need to be heard

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World Suicide Prevention Day
Depressed woman. Pixabay

New Delhi, Sep 10, 2017: If you know someone who is visibly depressed or struggling to cope with challenges of life, do not hesitate to intervene for fear of making things worse. Just hearing them out with empathy can make the difference between life and death, say experts.

In India, more than 100,000 people commit suicide every year, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

“The key is to be empathic and not be sympathetic. People in a depressive state of mind only need to be heard,” said Pallab Maulik, Deputy Director and Head of Research at the George Institute for Global Health India, New Delhi, which conducts research aimed at changing health practices and policy.

As per the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) data, mental health/suicide is the top reason for mortality among older adolescent girls and the figure remains among the top causes of death in boys as well.

“The number of adolescents committing suicide due to depression is increasing at an alarming rate in our country,” Maulik said on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.

“Various factors such academic pressures, personal relationship break-ups, pressures at work, interpersonal violence and intimate partner violence are some key reasons for depression amongst adolescents and young adults. Alcohol and drug abuse are some other factors that affect mental health well-being,” Maulik added.

According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), compassion and empathy from others helped to turn things around for vulnerable individuals.

Offering a gentle word of support and listening in a non-judgemental way can make all the difference, said the official World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 Website.

Being caring and listening with a non-judgemental ear are far more likely to reduce distress than exacerbate it, it said.

Also Read: What Not to Say to a Grieving Person in Depression? 

“About 800,000 people commit suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Those in the 15 to 29 age group are particularly vulnerable,” said Anna Chandy, of Live Love Laugh Foundation, Bengaluru — a not-for-profit organisation founded by Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone.

“There may be people around you who are struggling to cope and display visible signs of being depressed. Noticing such signs, offering support and encouraging them to seek professional help is crucial,” Chandy added.

Maulik said that suicides can be prevented through various measures taken at community and individual level.

“Early identification, treatment and care of people with mental and substance use disorders is important. Besides listening to the person, observing sudden behaviour change and proper counselling could help prevent a large number of deaths due to suicide,” Maulik added. (IANS)

 

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Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Being Treated As Ordinary Prisoner, Clarifies Haryana DGP (Jails)

No special treatment is being given to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a rape case convict

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Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a rape case convict
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Twitter
  • No special treatment is being given to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
  • The false reports of a special treatment given to him came after he was convicted in a rape case
  • Paramilitary forces have been deployed in good strength outside the Sunaria jail

Chandigarh, August 26, 2017: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Dera Sacha Sauda chief is not being given any special treatment in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail, said Haryana DGP (Jails), K P Singh, today. The false reports of a special treatment given to him came after he was convicted in a rape case.

Singh also said that to monitor Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s activities- 4 officials have been appointed to duty near his barrack in the jail. Yesterday a special CBI court in Panchkula convicted the self-styled godman of rape.

According to PTI report, the DGP claimed,”No special treatment is being given to him. He is being treated like any other ordinary prisoner. An ordinary prisoner sleeps on the floor and he, too, is doing the same.” He added that there is no separate room for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the room which he is sharing with other inmates doesn’t have any attendant, a bed or an AC. He is being given the same facilities as any other jail inmate as per the prison manual.

He also said that like every ordinary prisoner, he too can give the names of any five people he wishes to meet. He will be given this facility like other inmates. The jail officials will agree with the directions provided by the court after they will be informed of the duration of his sentence. He added that it’s indeed a challenge to keep a high profile prisoner secure in jail.

Also Read: Ram Rahim Convicted of Rape: Here is the 15-Year-Old Anonymous Letter from a Sadhvi

“That’s why inside the jail we have made arrangements to ensure that no other prisoner harms him for any reason. Outside the prison, we have already requested the local administration to secure the area and make adequate security arrangements,” Singh said, mentions PTI report.

To tighten the security measures- Paramilitary forces have been deployed in good strength outside the Sunaria jail.

Atul Kumar, Rohtak Deputy Commissioner, said today that their only motive is to make sure that Sunaria jail and Rohtak district are safe and secure. He said, “Through the media, I want to appeal to the people not to believe in rumors.”

Violence broke out in Haryana, Punjab (it extended to Delhi, Noida, and Ghaziabad) immediately after the announcement of the verdict with followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh going on the rampage, creating a ruckus and also clashing with security personnel. The violence took lives of at least 30 people, and 250 others were injured due to it.


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