A few undertrials in Hassan sub-jail on Wednesday complained to the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission that due to shortage of police personnel they had been forced to spend more days in jail without being taken for court hearings. The inmates made this complaint during SHRC member C.G. Hunagund’s visit to the sub-jail.
An inmate from Tamil Nadu, who has several theft cases against him in different places, including Hassan, Mysore, and Nanjangud, told Mr. Hunagund that he had been staying in Hassan jail for the last four months without being taken to the hearings due to lack of staff to escort them.
V. Krishnamurthy, jail superintendent, told the SHRC member that he also had brought this to the notice of higher-ups. The Superintendent of Police in Hassan had promised to depute men from District Armed Reserve for escort, he said.
The jail building was built in 1879 and parts of it are in a dilapidated state. Mr. Hunagund, during the visit, expressed worry over the safety of inmates and also chances of inmates trying to escape as the outer wall was old. The government has identified 40 acres of land near Shantigrama in Hassan taluk for a new building. “However, the new building will take another five or six years to come up. Till then, measures should be taken to make the existing building secure”, he said.
The jail was built to accommodate only 219 inmates. However, it now houses 328, including 18 women undertrials.
Meanwhile, speaking to presspersons after visiting the sub-jail, Mr. Hunagund said: “A few residents of Uttara Badavane came with a petition seeking shifting of a transformer installed in a narrow road in their locality.”
In another complaint, Kouser Ahmed, an employee with the Social Welfare Department, alleged that the Hassan City police sub inspector Mahesh and his staff tortured him and his relatives in the police station.