Class discrimination in Punjab’s prisons including Adiala Jail has been ended after 65 years, with the introduction of uniform food menus for all inmates of ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ classes. A notification has already been issued in this regard.
All inmates will get hygienic food picked from a menu formulated in conjunction with Faisalabad Agriculture University Experts. The use of prison labour to prepare meals for ‘A’ and ‘B’ class inmates has been withdrawn, with all inmates now getting food prepared by the jail kitchen staff.
Punjab Prisons IG, Mian Farooq Nazir, has issued directives to all jail authorities to strictly enforce the new orders. Sources in the Prisons Department told Daily Express that the jail reforms started by the IG Prisons were being enforced.
According to the old British-era jail menu, the inmates in classes ‘’A and ‘B’ would not only get mutton, eggs, vegetables, milk, but were also provided inmates from ‘C’ class as personal ‘servants’ to prepare and serve their food.
Sources said that the IG played a key role in persuading high ups to end this class difference.
The Adiala Jail staff has been asked to ensure that all inmates follow jail timings and were provided with food prepared inside the jail.
According to the new menu, all prisoners will get chicken for four days a week, beef for two days, and other food items including fruit. No individual prisoner will be allowed to prepare food inside the barracks, and filtration plants have also been installed in all jails to provide clean water to the inmates. In order to control tuberculosis outbreaks, a screening centre has also been set up in the jail.
When contacted by Daily Express, Adiala Jail DIG, Malik Shaukat Feroze, said that apart from ending class discrimination over the provision of food to the inmates, steps have also been taken to enhance security and health facilities for the inmates. He said that the new food menu was introduced after consulting experts of the University of Engineering Faisalabad Nutrition Department. “Efforts are now being made to ensure the menu remains hygienic and healthy.” He said that work on 15 new jails was ongoing, half of which would be completed this year, while the security wall around Adiala Jail was near completion.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2013.