When we talk about issues in our society, we often talk about issues related to government policies and so on. Somewhere or the other we all neglect the issues like the condition of prisoners. Do they deserve human rights? Do they even have human rights? Do they deserve the inhuman treatment by the police? Many questions are raised by activists in India but, it is all same as the “condition”. There are still many people who still think that all prisoners deserve this harsh treatment in jails because they are criminals and hence should be treated like this and should be kept under such lockups with no proper facilities.
This is the picture that everyone sees from the outside, but the real picture that happens inside the jails needs to be shown to everyone. The basic awareness of the rights of prisoners needs to be given, not just to the prisoners but to everyone. The lack of basic amenities is very common in our jails. Everyone knows what Indian prisons look like. A small room with a bed and a pot next to it.
The lockups where there is no proper ventilation, there is no commode only a pot, which is cleaned occasionally. The lack of medical facilities is another matter of concern. Most of the people in jails do not get medical treatment in jails. Female prisoners do not get proper sanitary products on monthly basis. People who are suffering from diseases are unable to get medicines on time. And these are just the highlighted points, the reality is even worse.
Moreover, there is a caste system that works in jails. People who belong to the upper caste are treated differently. People from lower caste (Dalits) identities are treated like animals. No matter how horrendous the crime, people from the upper caste commit, they are treated better than the lower ones. So, this caste discrimination in cells (jails) is not new in India and this shows the matter of equal rights and equal treatment. There are always disputes among these two caste groups and it is even seen that upper caste prisoners beat up the lower ones. The police know of such incidents but still, choose to remain silent.
Furthermore, another problem that comes up with the condition of prisoners is the “Trials”. Most of the detainees under police custody are not even tried or presented in front of the court. The lack of legal aids is another serious concern that needs to be highlighted. The financially poor detainees are unable to get legal aid, and lawyers are not available for the accused. Now, these serious issues are neglected by police, by the court, and by people.
The other area of concern is the torture that almost every prisoner came across in police custody. This issue is the most highlighted one especially on social media platforms, but no one acts against any police officer or stands up to stop the practice of torture during police interrogation. The physical and mental abuse faced by prisoners is common in India. And these are the most disturbing factors in our society that we see what is happening, we know the issues, but we remain silent.
Almost every prisoner in India is the victim of physical abuse by the police which is not only illegal but also inhuman on every ground. The third degrees torture or the treatment that is commonly used in India is at its peak. Practically every person taken to a police station in connection with any other offense in our country is subjected to severe beating and torture. Sticks, boots and belts, and wooden rollers are the most common instruments of beating.
The number of deaths in police custody is also at its peak in India. The torture at the level of beating and abusing is not enough for them, they turned this torture into death. They make these prisoners suffer until they die. “Over review of 124 such cases from 2019 compiled by the national campaign against torture shows that 97% of the cases related to the death of one person. However, since 2017, 255 people have died in police custody, but 144 cases have been registered in this regard, per crime in India data”.
Women in detention:
The misconception that most of us have about women detainees is that they are not treated as badly as male detainees. This is all wrong. The condition of women is worse in every aspect. The most common that female detainees come across is rape. Yes, it is true. Females are the victims of rape in prison. Almost every other female detainee is raped by police in prison or during police custody. Beaten up by the stick especially on the upper leg (thighs), being forced by the police to stand naked or semi-naked in front of them, inappropriate touch by police, and so on is all part of the torture.
The people in jails conflict with the law, but the crime that police officers are committing every day is neglected. When will the action be taken by the court? Who is going to file complaints against all those police officers who commit such crimes? Now the main question is, does the inhuman practice by police make them criminals too?
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