SUKKUR: Sundar Patafi, an inmate of Sukkur prison, jumped off the roof of his barracks on Tuesday, choosing to end his life rather than bear the conditions at the institution.
Patafi did not succeed in his attempt, and now finds himself in with a broken leg and injured spine - being treated at the jail ward of the Civil Hospital. But his wish may yet come true, as doctors say his condition is still not stable.
Whether or not Patafi gets his way, his message was clear: The conditions were bad enough to make a man serving time for murder attempt to take his own life. It seems as if a man who had no qualms about taking another human beings life lacked the courage to face life’s miseries himself.
The resident of Ghotki tried to kill himself because there are absolutely no facilities in the jail, he said, speaking to Express News, adding that there is hardly ever any gas, and the perpetual electricity outages have just exacerbated matters - making life in the jail unbearable. Patafi added that prisoners fight over the meagre facilities they receive and therefore end up hurting each other.
According to jail sources, the jailers misuse funds that are sent from the Baitul Maal for prisoners’ medicines. They also fail to provide health facilities to prisoners.
The jail superintendent, Nazir Qazi, denied these allegations and said that Patafi jumped off the roof as he is not mentally stable.
Meanwhile, while there are some prisoners who chose to end their lives, there are others who look to suppress others to gain extra leverage in the tough conditions.
A fight broke out between two groups of prisoners at Sukkur Central Jail-I leaving one prisoner injured on Tuesday.
Hardened criminals at Sukkur jail have formed groups in which they try to recruit younger convicts sent to the institution. A scuffle broke out Tuesday morning that turned violent as prisoners from one group tried to cut the throat of a rival, Ashiq Qureshi. Qureshi survived the attack and was shifed to Civil Hospital where doctors declared his condition to be stable.
The jail administration declared emergency inside the premises and had to call in the jail police to control the situation. The police managed to lock up all the prisoners inside the barracks, according to sources inside the jail.
The administration has, however, denied such claims and insisted that no such fight took place.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2010.
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