Built for 300 inmates, Nepalgunj jail crammed with 800 inmates

Nepalgunj Prison has been housing more inmates than its capacity for years and the problem of overcrowd is getting only worse.

Currently, the prison has been accommodating almost three times more inmates than its capacity. The prison with a capacity to accommodate only 300 inmates, is now crammed with 800 inmates and two minors.

Due to overcrowd and scorching heat, the jailbirds have been forced to live in a woeful condition. The maximum temperature of Banke has reached 40 degree Celsius in recent days. According to Ram Kumar Sonkar, chief of the Nepalgunj prison, most of the inmates are kept in an overcrowded condition.

The prison is poorly managed and does not meet the basic standards. Congestion and unhygienic living condition at the prison can lead to the spread of communicable disease, putting health of hundreds of its occupants at risk. This overcrowding jail and lack of basic facilities might lead to an outbreak of communicable diseases, said Sonkar.

There is a problem in the management of the larger number of inmates kept in the congested jail, said Sonkar, adding that the situation was unimaginably unbearable.

“Management of the prisoners is becoming very challenging as they have been managing by constructing temporary structures inside the prison. But now we do not have a place to construct any additional temporary structure on the prison premises,” he informed.

Various human rights organisations have carried out monitoring and repeatedly asked the prison administration to manage basic facilities to the best of their ability and to guarantee their basic services.

However, the prison administration has not been able to arrange proper facilities for the inmates. “Prisoners also have rights, so the prisons should be run according to the basic standards, their human rights should be protected,” said rights activist Basanta Gautam.

Meanwhile, security challenge in the area has also increased as the prison is in the middle of a settlement.

On the other hand, the building of the prison is old and in a dilapidated condition. Lack of reconstruction of the old and dilapidated jail building has also added security challenge.

Source : TRN,