Circle jail bursts at seams

Non-functioning of courts due to the lawyers’ agitation, demanding an HC bench in western Odisha, has led to overcrowding of circle jail here as most of the accused are unable to plead for their bail petitions.

With more than 80 suspects remanded in judicial custody in the last 15 days, the jail is facing the problem of space crunch.

Jail authorities said things would worsen if the situation persists for a few more days. “The jail is meant for 541 undertrial prisoners (UTPs). During emergency, we accommodate another 100 by making temporary arrangements. But the number of inmates has now swelled to 750,” jail superintendent P K Mohapatra said on Wednesday.

He said sanitation has become a huge problem with more and more accused being sent to the jail. On an average the jail receives around 12 UTPs daily, Mohapatra added.

The jail has 15 wards, out of which three are occupied by hardcore criminals and convicts. As many as 19 Maoists, including seven women cadres, are lodged in the jail.

“We have appraised the higher authority of the matter and waiting for direction for further action,” jailer S K Rout said.

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