18 died without medical care in prison'

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Old 15-Jul-2008
18 died without medical care in prison'

CHANDIGARH: Bhondsi jail in Gurgaon district seems to be existing in times when prisons were meant for punishment, rather than as correctional facilities. The jail is under the scanner for letting 18 inmates die without medical care during the last 33 months.

A Haryana jail department investigation confirmed one death due to denial of medical care there. The probe was started after a prisoner wrote to the Chief Justice of India in May.

The inmate, Yogender Singh, alias Yogi, had said in his complaint, "The condition of Bijender Singh worsened on April 26, 2008, at 3 am in barrack number 8A. I called out for jail staff, but to no avail. Even when Bijender appeared almost dead, superintendent and deputy superintendent visited the prisoner and returned home without taking care of him."

He mentioned that only when he started gasping for breath did the staff take him to the jail's doctor at 10 am, where he died at 11 am. The complaint's copy is with the TOI. Yogi alleged that as part of a cover up, the jail staff had shown that the deaths had taken place outside.

The complainant had appealed to the CJI for a high-level inquiry. IG (prisons) MS Mann said the probe had been handed over to the superintendent of another jail. The IG said he had found that a prisoner named Khalid had died due to delay in medical care. An April 2008 report by a judge had also recorded that no doctors were available in the jail during an inspection.

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