Attock jail turns into ground for drug dealers

Intelligence report says jail staff sexually assault, rape female visitors


Saleh Mughal October 06, 2022

RAWALPINDI:

After a startling report on Adiala jail, an intelligence inquiry has also found rampant corruption, bribery and wickedness in Attock jail, stating that the prison has turned into a fertile and breeding ground for offenders, drug dealers and all illegalities.

The Provincial Intelligence Centre, Home Department of Punjab, report has disclosed unbridled corruption and malpractices in District Jail Attock in connivance with jail officers and staffers.

The report, which has been sent to IG Prisons Punjab, the provincial chief secretary, the additional secretary of law and others, has recommended a thorough probe into the corrupt practices by an additional secretary level officer.

It said that torture, violence, drugs and the use of drugs have become a common feature in the jail under the alleged patronage of the jail administration.

“Powerful mafias of drug peddlers have deep roots inside the jail with the blessing of jail administration and are minting money with impunity through selling contraband drugs.

They also pay their due share to the jail management. Some persons, detained in jail on the charges of drug peddling, have started heinous businesses, supplying drugs to addicts with the alleged backing of jail officials.

Thus, not only the drugs are being supplied to hardened addicts but the new jail inmates also become addicts by joining hands with old addicts,” the report said. It said, “The prisoners are allowed to get food of their choice from outside of the jail after paying a bribe to the jail staff. Likewise, the medicine being supplied in the jail dispensary don not cater for the needs of prisoners.

The rich/affluent prisoners manage to get themselves admitted to movement hospitals outside the jails after greasing the palms of jail doctors and offering hefty bribes to the jail officials. The more money you pay, the better you get facilities and care in the jail.”

The report further said, “Meetings between prisoners and their family members have become a lucrative business for jail staffers, as they are harvesting income running into millions of rupees every month through this activity.

The visitor has to pay Rs500 to Rs2,000 as a bribe to the jail staff to meet their inmate. The affluent visitor can meet his relative (prisoner) in the office of the Deputy Superintendent Jail after paying a bribe of Rs10,000.

Whenever some eatables, food items or commodities are given to them for their delivery to the jail inmates, these corrupt staffers grab their share and later deliver a small quantity of the commodity to jail inmates.

If someone complains about this rogue act with jail authorities then the jail inmates are subjected to violence and merciless thrashing.”

The report also indicated that “some jail staffers are also indulged into acts of sexual harassment and rape with female visitors of the inmates”. “This quite disturbing and can lead to a big scandal bringing a bad name to the government of Punjab,” the report said, urging the high-ups for further necessary action.

The report recommended that “There is a need to conduct an inquiry into the affairs of District Jail Attock by a high-powered inquiry committee headed by an upright and honest officer to 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 must be punished under relevant laws. Torture and brutality should not be allowed in jail under any circumstances. Jail staff must be trained to recognise the need to protect the basic rights of prisoners and ensure they are treated humanely and their dignity preserved.

The dignity and privacy of women visitors in the jail must be safeguarded. Female staff should solely be responsible to handle the female visitors. Besides, all detainees must be protected from sexual abuse and harassment. Drug addicts and mentally disordered inmates must not be incarcerated in jails but provided adequate medical attention.

A preventive health system be provided to stem the increase in dangerous infectious diseases and prompt medical care for prisoners who become ill in jails.

A mechanism may be devised ensuring the dignity of visitors to the jails to interact with their relatives and loved ones confined in the jail.”

 

Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2022.

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