Delhi

Tihar inmates wield the pen

Power of words: After producing cookies and furniture for years, Tihar inmates have now started voicing their opinions in the form of handwritten newspapers. File Photo: AFP

Power of words: After producing cookies and furniture for years, Tihar inmates have now started voicing their opinions in the form of handwritten newspapers. File Photo: AFP   | Photo Credit: MANAN VATSYAYANA

: After producing quality cookies and durable furniture for years, Tihar Jail inmates have now started voicing their opinions in the form of handwritten newspapers.

Apart from raising the problems they face inside the jail, the prisoners are using the monthly newspapers to share news related to life in prison, jokes and cartoons.

Currently, two newspapers — Shakti Times and Karagar Samachar — run by the inmates of sub-jails one and two, respectively, are in circulation.

Aiming high

A third newspaper, Tihar Akhbaar, will be launched in the next few weeks. The jail authorities said each of the nine sub-jails in Tihar would be running their own publications by the year-end.

The idea of newspapers by and for Tihar inmates was put forward by several prisoners, prominent among them being Mahmood Farooqui, co-director of film Peepli Live and a convict in a rape case; S.S. Rathi and Anil Kumar, former police officers serving time for a fake encounter; and Bhupinder Singh Bisht, bodyguard of murdered liquor baron Ponty Chadha.

It, however, did not take a lot of effort to obtain permission from the jail authorities to sanction the publication of newspapers.

“The exercise helps us to understand the problems of the prisoners. The inmates, meanwhile, are able to utilise their time productively,” said a senior jail official. Since the jail lacks a printing press and printing costs are too high, the prisoners have to depend on handwritten newspapers which are photocopied.

Close coordination

“The prisoners hold editorial meetings among themselves to decide on the content. But our officers monitor everything that goes into the papers,” said the official.

The two issues that have come out so far have focused on a range of subjects such as the shifting of prisoners to the newly-inaugurated Mandoli Jail, demonetisation, death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, cricket tournaments, classes and exams, and success stories of inmates.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 1:18:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/Tihar-inmates-wield-the-pen/article17043977.ece

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