Mandoli police quarters to serve as ‘temporary jail’

The Delhi government has decided to convert Mandoli Police Housing Complex into a “temporary jail” with a capacity of 1,800 inmates to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus in city jails.

“The Minister of Home, Government of NCT of Delhi is pleased to declare police quarters in the police housing complex adjoining Mandoli jail, Delhi, as “temporary jail”, till further orders, in view of COVID-19 pandemic,” a notification issued by the Delhi government on July 31 read.

The Hindu had reported in the second week of July that the government was planning to convert it into a temporary jail.

“New inmates will be first put up at the facility for two weeks before they are moved to the jails to make sure that COVID-19 does not spread in the jails,” an official said. Also, inmates already in different jails in the city, who might turn suspected cases of the virus, will be moved to the new facility.

Many inmates in city jails have tested positive for the virus and at least one prisoner died after contracting COVID-19.

Currently, the complex is functioning as an 850-bed ‘COVID care centre’ and the district officials have been directed to vacate the complex.

“The complex has 12 blocks and we may convert some of the blocks as a temporary jail first, as patients are still admitted. No new admissions will not be done and after all patients get well and leave the centre, it will be completely converted into a temporary jail,” a Delhi government official said.

The government has also asked the Central government for extra force to be deployed at the temporary jail.

“Till then force from other jails will be diverted to the temporary jail,” the official said.

The decision to convert the complex into a temporary jail was taken by a committee looking into decongesting of prisons in the city, following a Supreme Court order to decongest prisons.

On March 16, the Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of the risk of COVID-19 infection spreading within and from overcrowded prisons across the country.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 2:00:27 PM |

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