RAWALPINDI: The Provincial Intelligence Centre (PIC), in a report, has accused some Attock district jail employees of raping and sexually harassing women visiting prisoners.
It also revealed that drug use had become widespread in Attock jail due to presence of powerful mafias on its premises.
The PIC field staff conducted discreet inquiry into the affairs of the district jail and submitted the report to Inspector General of Prisons Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig on Sept 30.
The allegation by a jail employee about involvement of some staffers in sexual harassment and rape of women visiting convicts was the most horrifying, the report said.
“This is quite disturbing and can lead to a scandal that will reflect poorly on the Punjab administration,” it added.
The PIC field staff recommended an inquiry into the affairs of the district jail by a high-powered committee headed by an upright and honest officer in the rank of an additional secretary.
The jail staff found guilty of violating the jail manual or involved in torture, corruption, extortion and sexual harassment should be punished, said the report.
It also recommended that the dignity and privacy of women visitors to the jail must be safeguarded and female staff should solely be responsible to handle them.
“Besides, all detainees must be protected from sexual abuse and harassment,” the report said, adding that the district jail was rife with unchecked corruption and malpractices committed in connivance with jail officials.
“A girl who visits the jail to see one of the inmates supplies drugs to the prisoners.A pack of charas worth Rs500 outside is sold for Rs3,000 to Rs3,500 inside the prison,” the report said.
“Powerful mafias of drug peddlers have deep roots inside the jail with the support of jail administration and are making unchecked profit by selling contraband. And they also pay due share to the jail management,” the report said.
It also stated that some people being held in jail on drug-related offences had started the heinous business of selling drugs to addicts with the support of jail staff.
The report said prisoners were reportedly allowed to get food of their choice from outside after paying bribe to the staff, adding that rich and well-off prisoners manage to get themselves admitted to government hospitals outside the jail after bribing jail officials.
Meeting between prisoners and their family members has become a lucrative business for jail staffers.
A visitor reportedly has to pay Rs500 to Rs2,000 as bribe to the jail staff to meet relatives, the report said.
Mr Baig, the IG prisons, who is retiring on October 20, could not be contacted for comments.
Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2022