RAWALPINDI: The Provincial Intelligence Centre (PIC) in its report to the chief minister and the inspector general (IG) of prisons has noted malpractices and corruption in Adiala jail and expressed the apprehension that those inmates unable to bribe officials may turn violent at some point.

“Poor inmates who are unable to pay bribes to unscrupulous jail staff members may at some point get aggressive and resort to unpleasant incidents, bringing a bad name to the Punjab government,” said the report, a copy of which is available with Dawn.

The PIC sent the report to the chief minister, chief secretary and IG Prisons Shahid Saleem Baig on Sept 22.

The report mentioned malpractices in the jail hospital and factory such as supplying banned items to the inmates and giving VIP protocol to prisoners connected to land mafia after receiving bribes.

Says banned items being supplied to prisoners; calls for strict action against corrupt officials

It expressed serious concern over the situation prevailing in the overcrowded jail and said the culture of bribery and malpractices was likely to have a negative impact on the law and order situation in the jail.

It also said the inmates who could not pay bribe might turn violent some day and resort to an unpleasant incident.

The report recommended a fact-finding committee headed by an officer not less than the rank of an additional secretary to probe into the affairs of the jail and take strict action against the corrupt elements.

According to the report, about 700 convicted prisoners were brought to the jail factory for labour work on a daily basis.

The report alleged that the prisoners, numbering about 200, who paid a bribe of Rs5,000 each, were exempted from labour work.

The deputy jail superintendent was previously posted to Gujrat where he was suspended on the charges of corruption and malpractices, the report said.

The situation in the jail hospital was not different as the prisoners were provided relief and facilities after taking a handsome amount of bribe from them. Recently, convicted and under-trial prisoners were shifted from barracks to the hospital on the recommendation/advice of the jail hospital officials.

A doctor posted in the jail hospital was surrendered to the health department on the charge of corruption. The doctor was said to be a relative of a former federal minister and had managed to get himself posted to the jail hospital about a month ago.

The report also cited an example of taking bribe from the son of a prisoner confined in the jail in a murder case and facilitating him in the jail hospital which was proven in an inquiry. The most horrifying issue was the supply of banned items such as cigarettes, cash and narcotics to the prisoners after taking bribe from them.

The report said the DIG prisons in December 2020 had banned the posting of an official inside the jail due to complaints of corruption. However, he managed to get himself posted in the jail. In 2021, he was suspended and transferred to the Bhakkar district jail for his involvement in corruption and gambling. He has now again started indulging himself in malpractices.

The report also stated that land mafia prisoners were being provided VIP protocol in the Adiala jail.

Recently, a video of torture on a prisoner went viral on social media and the matter reached the Islamabad High Court (IHC), on which Chief Justice Athar Minallah visited the jail along with two sessions judges from Islamabad and inquired about the problems of the prisoners.

After the visit of the chief justice, Deputy Inspector General of Prisons Rawalpindi region Kamran Anjum transferred 10 head warders and 17 warders to other jails of the region. Besides, six officials were suspended.

The mother of a 21-year-old under-trial prisoner Shahab Hussain last month filed a petition in the IHC, stating that the jail superintendent and other staff members tortured her son and broke his finger.

She had also alleged that her son, who was arrested in a 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.

Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2022

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