Home/ News / India/  Delhi's central jails overcrowded, 94% more inmates against capacity

One of the most prominent penitentiary of India, the Tihar Prison Complex has over two-and-a-half times the number of inmates of its actual capacity, making it difficult to monitor them. Tihar prison has been in news many times for housing many high profile inmates.

The prison complexes in Rohini and Mandoli established in 2004 and 2016, respectively, were supposed to ease the burden of Tihar, but they face the same issue.

Delhi has three prison complexes -- Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli -- all of them comprise central jails are are crowded beyond capacity.

The problem in numbers

Responding to an RTI, the office of the Director General of Prisons stated, Tihar which is one of the largest prison complexes in the world and comprising nine central prisons, has a capacity to house 5,200 inmates, but 13,183 prisoners are currently lodged in its different central jails.

The prison complexes that were supposed to reduce Tihar's burden are over-crowded too. Mandoli, which has six central jails, has a capacity of 1,050 but 2,037 inmates are currently staying there. Rohini, which has only one central jail, has a capacity of 3,776 but 4,355 inmates are currently lodged there in different cases.

According to them, the total population in 16 prisons is around 19,500 prisoners against the sanctioned capacity of 10,026 prisoners. 

This means that there are 94% more inmates lodged in the prisons than the viable capacity.

The problem in monitoring

With almost double the number of inmates agaisnt the sanctioned capacity, officials face myriad challenged in monitoring the inmates.

A senior jail official said, "We do face a lot of challenges but are somehow managing it. But overcrowding leads to many problems such as petty fights between the inmates, difficulty in maintaining proper surveillance and conducting reformation activities etc."

The 16 central jails in the three prison complexes have TV facility in the common area of the high-security ward for prisoners lodged in those wards, jail officials said.

There has been steady increase in the prisoners' population over the last few years, officials said.

High-profile gangsters and criminals are also lodged in these jails, which include Olympic silver medallist Sushil Kumar, conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar, who was recently shifted from Tihar to Mandoli following the directions of the court, Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik, among others.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Updated: 27 Aug 2022, 05:46 PM IST
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