SRINAGAR: As many as 47 prisoners have tested positive for novel coronavirus in district jail Anantnag, ringing alarm bells among the jail authorities in Jammu and Kashmir.

A senior official told news agency KNO that 47 prisoners, one jail staffer and one contractor supplying material to the jail have tested positive for COVID-19 in Anantnag since Friday

“Of them, 44 tested positive on Tuesday and four on Monday,” he said.

Earlier, Zahoor Bhat younger brother of JKLF founder Muhammad Maqbool Bhat had tested positive for COVID-19 at Anantnag jail on Friday.

According to family sources, Zahoor was initially in Rajasthan jail. Later he was shifted to sub-jail Kupwara and finally taken to Anantnag jail in March this year.

Coronavirus: Panic In Jail, Maqbool Bhat’s Brother Tests Positive

The family alleged that the inside condition of inmates is not good inside the jail vis a vis COVID measures. “They put the huge number in a small space, that adds the risk of contracting the infection,” said a member of the Bhat family.

When contacted, DG Prisons, VK Singh refused to comment on the matter.

“You should talk to official spokesman and authorities of Home department on the matter,” he said.

These cases have raised questions on measures initiated by the Jammu and Kashmir government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prisons of the Union Territory.

It is worthwhile to mention here that the Prisons Department of UT had repeatedly maintained that they are taking adequate measures to prevent the spread of the virus in jails.

According to details collected by news agency KNO, the occupancy in jails of J&K presently is 12% more than their normal capacity.

As many as 3628 prisoners are house in 14 jails of J&K against their overall capacity of 3234.

Besides, nearly 90 PSA detainees are also lodged in jails of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.


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