The highest number of complaints by prisoners to their respective State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in 2017 were received by the Punjab SHRC, according to the Prison Statistics India 2017 report released by the National Crime Records Bureau recently.
Punjab also recorded the highest number of complaints pending with its SHRC in 2017.
The state SHRC received 171 complaints from prisoners lodged in state jails, followed by Kerala (49 complaints), Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (43 complaints each) that year.
By the end of 2017, 111 such complaints by prisoners were pending in Punjab SHRC, followed by Rajasthan and Bihar where 11 and eight complaints were pending respectively.
Punjab was second in terms of prisoners lodged in state jails approaching NHRC for redressal of their grievances. After Delhi (82 complaints), Punjab was at no. 2 with 52 complaints made to the NHRS by prisoners lodged in its jails.
By the end of 2017, 32 such complaints from prisoners in Punjab were pending with NHRC.
As per the NCRB report, Punjab also recorded the highest number of suicides in prisons at 13 suicides out of a total 109 across the country, alongwith West Bengal (13), followed by Karnatka (10) in 2017.
Moreover, 9,801 convicts were lodged in Punjab jails by the end of 2017, accounting for seven per cent of the total inmates lodged in jails across the state. As per the report, 3504 convicts were serving sentences of above 10 years, making Punjab the state with the percentage of convicts lodged in jails serving sentences of above 10 years.