90% inmates in Jammu & Kashmir jails are undertrial prisoners: RTI reply

Srinagar, Dec 12: Prisons Department of Jammu has revealed that over 90 percent of the prisoners lodged in jails of Jammu and Kashmir are under trial prisoners.

The department has made the information available to a request under the Right to Information (RTI) Act filed by two Kashmiri students.

The reply by Public Information Officer (PIO) of Director-General of Police, Prisons Department, Jammu further said that less than 2% of all individuals arrested in militancy-related cases have been convicted.

The response came in a Right to Information (RTI) request filed by two students, Tajamul Islam and Aabid Mushtaq, from the University of Kashmir’s Law Department.

The reply dated December 7, 2020 revealed, inter alia, the following:

4,131 prisoners are stated to be held in jails across Jammu and Kashmir as on 6 December 2020, which includes 4,005 men and 126 women.

Of these prisoners, 3,735 are currently under trial, of which 747 have been arrested in militancy-related cases.

Of those in prison for militancy-related cases (761), merely 1.8% (14) has been convicted.

Overall, a staggering 90.4 % of the total prisoners lodged in the prisons of Jammu and Kashmir are still undergoing trial.

Notably, the total intake capacity of the fourteen jails across Jammu and Kashmir is 3,660, indicating that these jails presently lodge prisoners beyond its holding capacity.

The Central Jail in Jammu’s Kot Balwal holds the highest number of prisoners with 709 prisoners as on 6 December, 2020.

The highest number of prisoners (147) accused in militancy-related cases are lodged in a single facility of Srinagar’s Central Jail.

2,195 undertrial prisoners and 41 convicted prisoners were released on bail or parole from April 2020 till date.

In its reply, the office of the DGP also said that it “does not have information about all the prisoners of J&K lodged in prisons outside J&K” under preventive detention laws. The DGP office only had partial information on this aspect, divulging that there were 43 prisoners from Jammu and Kashmir who are currently held outside the Union Territory, in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. (KNT)

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