ISLAMABAD: Fearing spread of Covid-19 among inmates, Islamabad police stopped transportation of under-trial prisoners (UTPs) from Adiala jail to judicial lockups.

Adiala Jail is one of the most overcrowded jails in Pakistan, where over 5,000 prisoners are detained against its capacity to house 2,100 inmates.

The senior superintendent of Islamabad has written a letter to the judiciary, stating the possibility of Covid-19 spreading among UTPs since neither transportation nor judicial lockups were properly designed to accommodate large number of inmates.

The letter states: “Due to spreading of coronavirus, the government has decided to curtail mass gatherings in government as well as at private places. The judicial lockup is a congested place with limited accommodation facility to cater UTPs in bulk.”

According to Islamabad police, presence of UTPs in such a fragile environment can lead to spread of Covid-19.Subsequently, the police have decided that “in order to avoid spread of Covid-19 among UTPs and others, they will not be produced before courts and kept in sessions lockup till May 9, 2020.”

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2020