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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Released after spending 87 days in custody, Tripura ex-minister writes to govt on mismanagement in central jail

In his letter which was made available to indianexpress.com, Choudhury highlighted certain issues including a recent unnatural death of an under-trial accused Sanjit Sarkar who was found hanging inside the jail and sought a probe into that.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | February 12, 2020 10:30:41 pm
Former Tripura PWD minister Badal Choudhury

Former Tripura PWD minister Badal Choudhury on Wednesday wrote to Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar to complain about maintenance and other issues relating to Bishalgarh Central (Rectification Centre) Jail located at Bishalgarh in Sepahijala district, 30 Km from here.

Accused in a graft case of over Rs 638 crore, Choudhury was released last week after spending 87 days in police custody. He was arrested on October 21 last year in connection with findings of a Vigilance investigation on PWD works held in 2008-09, during the erstwhile Left regime.

In his letter which was made available to indianexpress.com, Choudhury highlighted certain issues including a recent unnatural death of an under-trial accused Sanjit Sarkar who was found hanging inside the jail and sought a probe into that. He alleged poor maintenance of the jail and suggested a list of remedies for the administration to adopt for the betterment of the central jail.

Among other issues, Choudhury sought the intervention of the government to increase the strength of the staffs in the jail, increasing quantum of daily food for the prisoners, arrangement of pathological tests, ECG and other medical facilities inside the jail, introduction of parole to allow the prisoners to meet their family members and relatives for some time, hiking wages of prisoners in the central jail.

“For about the last 3 months from 21st October, 2019 to 1st February, 2020 I have spent my days either in the hospital or in the Bishalgarh Central (Rectification Home) Jail. ….During my stay in Central Jail, few things came to my notice ……. In the above perspective, if you kindly take quick decision and implement my suggestion early, I can assure you, that this rectification home will be a sample rectification home in the country,” the letter read.

Choudhury also questioned why the women convicts weren’t monitored by a separate women jailer; the Bishalgarh Central Jail has got 50-60 women convicts.

“…. a separate prisoner’s block for women inside the jail, where always 50-60 women convicted and Under Trail prisoners staying in this block. For this block a separate women Jailer is very essential to look after this sensitive block”, he wrote in his letter.

Apart from Choudhury, former chief secretary Yashpal Singh and former PWD chief engineer Sunil Bhowmik on October 13 last year were charged with corruption, cheating, criminal breach of trust and evading arrest in connection to construction of PWD works assigned in 2008-09, when he was in charge of the Public Works Department (PWD).

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