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Vaccination drive in Maharashtra prisons going slow

Representational image.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The vaccination drive across 47 prisons in Maharashtra has been rather slow with only 4,409 inmates having received at least the first dose out of the total 33,971 inmates, that it houses.

According to the Maharashtra Prison Department, there are 28,716 under-trials and 5,255 convicts lodged across the State of which 3,338 under-trials and 1,021 convicts have been vaccinated.

However, Additional Director General of Police (prisons) Sunil Ramanand told The Hindu, “We are handling around 34,000 inmates in prisons including temporary prisons. We have vaccinated 30% of our prison population in jails across the State. At Taloja Jail, we had organised vaccinations camps for prisoners. Superintendents of jails are in touch with officers of respective municipal corporations are steps are taken to expedite the process. The numbers of COVID-19 positive cases have gone down and in the second wave we have seen three deaths. The situation is under control.”

As on June 1, 2021, at Taloja Central Prison 6,717 COVID-19 tests were conducted of which 27 were positive, there are six active cases and three deaths. As per the data, the official capacity of the jail is 2,124 however the current population is 2,766. Some of the under-trials are Dheeraj Wadhawan of Dewan Housing Finance Limited, Rana Kapoor founder of Yes Bank, and Arun Ferreira along with nine others accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case. Total 346 prisoners are vaccinated out of 2,759 under-trials 334 and out of 64 convicts 12 are vaccinated.

At the Mumbai Women Prison, Byculla, where Sheena Bora murder accused Indrani Mukerjea and Sudha Bharadwaj and Shoma Sen, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, are lodged, 313 women are incarcerated despite 262 being the official capacity. A total of 54 prisoners are vaccinated, of which 52 are are under-trials and two are convicts.

At Yerwada Central Jail, the number of inmates is more than double of the actual population. The official capacity is 2,449 but it currently houses 5,906 prisoners. As on June 1, 9,131 tests have been conducted of which 498 positive cases are there and seven active cases. At Jalna District Prison there are two active cases out of total 48 cases.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 5:10:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vaccination-drive-in-maharashtra-prisons-going-slow/article34896674.ece

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