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AHRC seeks report on COVID 19 situation in Assam Jails

Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, alleged of gross negligence in providing necessary healthcare to Jail inmates

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Guwahati: Taking cognizance of a complaint by Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, regarding gross negligence in providing necessary healthcare to the jail inmates of Assam, the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on Tuesday has ordered the Chief Secretary of Assam and the IGP (Prisons) to submit a report in this connection to the Commission on or before August 5.

Saikia in his complaint alleged of gross negligence in providing necessary healthcare and diet to the inmates of Guwahati Central Jail and other jails of Assam.

He alleged that the jail authorities have failed to adhere to the COVID-19 protocol in their respective jail campuses leading to a mass infection amongst the jail inmates.

Saikia in his complaint said, “Around 95 percent of the inmates of the Guwahati Central Jail were likely to be affected with Covid-19. However, COVID 19 tests had not been carried out on all inmates even then.”

He added, “There are allegations that some 50 inmates were kept in one room and the gap between the sleeping spaces of inmates was less than two feet thereby violating the social distancing norms. Moreover, those who were tested Positive for COVID-19 were made to wait for 40 hours and taken to the hospital. No proper diet and treatment was provided to inmates. “

Recently, anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) leader Akhil Gogoi along with two other Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leaders tested of COVID 19 positive. Former National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) chief Ranjan Daimary was too testes positive.

Altogether 480 jail inmates of all the jails located in the state have been tested positive for COVID 19 till July 19. “Out of them, 435 were detected at the Guwahati Central Jail alone,” said Jail sources.  

The Assam prison headquarters on Monday said that a 200 bedded COVID Care Centre (CCC) will become operational soon inside the Guwahati Central Jail premises.