RAWALPINDI: After complaints of alleged mistreatment and torture of inmates at the Central Jail Adiala came to light, an assistant jail superintendent was suspended and 10 head warders and 17 warders were transferred to other jails.

Two head warders and four warders were also suspended after they were found involved in mistreatment and torture of prisoners.

There have been frequent complaints about ill-treatment, torture and alleged corruption in the jail. The mother of a 21-year-old under-trial prisoner, Shahab Hussain, recently also filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), alleging that the jail superintendent and other staff members tortured her son and broke his finger.

She alleged that her son, who was arrested in an anti-terrorism case in Islamabad, was stripped and subjected to torture by the jail officials who also demanded a bribe of Rs5,000 from him. She said the prisoner went on a hunger strike on September 9 and had become extremely weak.

There was also an incident in which prisoners were locked up in the “chaki” confinement. This treatment of prisoners did not stop even after the transfer of the DIG and superintendent of the jail.

Recently, a video of torture on a prisoner also went viral on social media and the matter reached the IHC. Chief Justice IHC Athar Minallah on Saturday visited the jail along with two judges from Islamabad and inquired about the problems of the prisoners for more than two and a half hours.

After the visit of the chief justice, Deputy Inspector General of Prisons Rawalpindi region Kamran Anjum transferred 10 head warders and 17 warders from Adiala jail to other jails.

Besides, two head wards and four wards were suspended.

Of the 10 head warders, four were transferred to Gujrat, three to Jhelum, two to Chakwal and one to Mandi Bahauddin while five of the 17 warders were shifted to the district jail of Gujarat, four to Attock, four to Mandi Bahauddin, two to Jhelum and two to Chakwal. Shahid Saleem Baig, the inspector general (IG) of prisons, accompanied the chief justice during his visit to the jail.

After conclusion of the visit, the IG went into a session with the DIG, superintendent and other senior officials of the jail.

According to sources, Mr Baig expressed displeasure with the attitude of the jail authorities and recommended departmental action against the deputy superintendent, Malik Mohammad Akram. However, the orders were withheld as an inquiry was ongoing.

Adiala jail superintendent Ijaz Asghar could not be contacted for comments.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022

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