Other States

‘63% children in Bengal jails from Bangladesh’

A correctional home in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. File photo: Special Arrangement

A correctional home in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. File photo: Special Arrangement  

A report submitted to the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) by the State’s Department of Correctional Administration has revealed that nearly 63% of children living with their parents in Bengal’s jails are Bangladeshi citizens.

“According to the report, as on May 30, 2017, there are 262 children of inmates in 19 jails in Bengal. Out of these, 164 (62.59%) are Bangladeshi children,” WBCPCR chairperson Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti told The Hindu. There are also 11 children from Myanmar, she said. The children are in the age group of two to six years.

The report further states that out of the 164 Bangladeshi children, 72 children are lodged in the Dum Dum Central Correctional Home in Kolkata and 50 children are in at the Berhampore Central Correctional Home in the Murshidabad district. The rest are in jails in the South Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and Bardhaman districts.

Ms. Chakraborti added, “The main objective behind WBCPCR seeking the report was to know whether these children are getting proper nutrition, vaccination, education as well as [to check] whether they were facing any abuse in jail.” The report states that the children are in good condition, she said.

From August, the WBCPCR will commence an inspection of the 19 jails where children are lodged to verify the information provided by the jail authorities. According to Ms. Chakraborti a “comprehensive programme focusing on nutrition, education and medical facilities” will be taken up for all the children in West Bengal’s jails, which would include Bangladeshi children, based on the findings of the inspection.

The reason behind the higher number of Bangladeshi children in Bengal’s jails, Ms. Chakraborti pointed out, is that Bangladeshi inmates have no other place to leave their children, unlike Indian convicts.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 10:57:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/63-children-in-bengal-jails-from-bangladesh/article19337585.ece

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