In 2014, 218 people died of natural causes in Punjab’s jails, according to a National Crime Records Bureau report released recently. Only Uttar Pradesh, with 298 deaths, is higher.
As per NCRB’s Prison Statistics, a total of 1,702 people died in jails across the country from which 1,507 died of natural causes. In case of natural deaths, after UP and Punjab, 122 inmates died in Madhya Pradesh jails, 96 each in Bihar and Maharashtra jails .
The NCRB report stated that suicides formed the most number of unnatural deaths in jails across the country. A total of 94 jail inmates committed suicide in jails across the country, out of which 10 died in Punjab jails.
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“Of 195 unnatural deaths, 94 committed suicide followed by uncategorised deaths (82), murdered by fellow inmates (12), deaths due to assault by outside elements (4), and 2 deaths due to firings,” the NCRB report reads. In one case an inmate died due to negligence and excesses of jail personnel. The report further said that Punjab also has the highest number of convicted civil prisoners (87). These prisoners are defaulters declared in civil cases. A total of 158 convicted civil prisoners were reported from four States/Union Territories at the end of 2014.
“Punjab has reported the highest number of 87 convicted civil prisoners accounting for 55.1 per cent of total convicted civil prisoners in the country,” said the report. “Thirty-three prisoners were also reported from Maharashtra, 25 from Haryana and five prisoners from Uttar Pradesh. One female convicted civil prisoner was reported from Maharashtra”, the NCRB report states.