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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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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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[bctt tweet=”India’s 1,401 jails held 419,623 prisoners as against their total capacity of 366,781.” username=””]

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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