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733 prisoners died in MP jails in five years as most doctors' posts are vacant in prisons

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BHOPAL: The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo-motu cognizance of a media report that that large number of prisoners are dying in the jails of Madhya Pradesh as 46 out of 51 posts of doctors are vacant.

According to media reports, during the period of last five years, a total 733 convicts have died.

Accordingly, the Commission has asked its DIG (Investigation) to constitute a team for an on the spot enquiry in the matter. The report of the enquiry is expected within six weeks.

According to information available, six out of 11 central jails have no doctors. Not only this, all the 40 district jails in the state do not have doctors posted there. The jail authorities are somehow managing with the part time services of the doctors from the Primary Health Centres and District Hospitals.

As a result prisoners, suffering from serious ailments, fail to get timely treatment. Even if, the jail administration calls a doctor, they have to pay Rs 500 as their fee, as a result only in very serious cases doctors from outside are called.

The Commission has observed that the situation points towards poor health facilities in the jails of Madhya Pradesh. The state being custodian of the inmates is liable to take care of their health issues. Deaths of the prisoners in such a large number, due to lack of medical facilities, is violation of Right to Life and Health of the poor prisoners.

The NHRC took that in one of the incidents, a 56 year old convict died due to cardiac arrest, as he was taken to the local health centre and then to the district hospital only when his condition deteriorated. Two convicts died in the District Jail, Morena during the year, due to cardiac arrest. In a health camp organized in the district Morena, reportedly, 42 inmates were found suffering from tuberculosis.