India: Maoist accuses officials of violating jail manual

Senior CPI (Maoist) leader Vijay Kumar Arya has accused the Gaya jail administration of violating jail manual, physically torturing the inmates and providing them poor diets.

Arrested from Katihar in May 2011, Arya is a high-risk inmate of Gaya jail. He is facing cases in Bihar, Jharkhand, undivided Andhra Pradesh and some other states.

In a written complaint to the IG (prisons), Arya has accused the jail officials of siphoning off the funds for prisoners. He stated in his letter that Bihar government spent Rs232 per day on each prisoner but “instead of procuring Sudha dairy products, the jail officials buy uncertified and adulterated dairy items from questionable sources and offer the same to the inmates leading to serious health issues”.

When some prisoners protested against the death of undertrial Krishna Yadav on October 12 last year allegedly due to lack of proper treatment, they were implicated in a ‘false’ case of jailbreak.

There are 1,766 inmates in Gaya jail against the sanctioned strength of 1,468.

Arya has also submitted an 18-point charter of demands that include maintenance of diet chart as approved in September 2015, ‘bandi panchayat’ election, availability of steel utensils, shifting of inmates from punishment cell to general ward, permission to use mosquito nets, timely production of inmates in courts outside the district and the state, no torture of prisoners, clean toilets and provision for X-ray machine, pathological lab and ultrasound facility in the jail hospital and a telephone booth inside the prison.

When contacted, jail superintendent Rajiv Kumar said he has joined only a couple of weeks back and needed some time to familiarize with the jail condition. Kumar conceded that some of the issues raised by Arya were genuine.


C. Kistler

Also editor of Nouvelle Turquie.