Prisons department resumes Mulaqat facility in jails

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From now onwards the families whose kith and kin are jailed in Jammu and Kashmir jails can meet them as the prisons department on Thursday ordered resumption of Mulaqat facility, but with some restrictions.

The facility was withdrawn soon after the COVID-19 outbreak. However the inmates were allowed to call their home people through the telephone facility set up in jails across J&K.

“We have decided to resume the facility,” Director General of Prisons, VK Singh, told the Greater Kashmir.

As per the order issued by the Director General of Prisons, J&K, inmates shall be allowed to have one interview/mulaqat with their family members in a month. “The number of family members shall be limited by the Superintendent Jail in accordance with rules,” reads the order.

“Jail Superintendents shall ensure that necessary COVID-19 SOP/protocol is strictly followed,” it said. “Family members are advised to carry COVID-19 negative test reports (not older than 48 hours) with them for mulaqat purposes.”

Pertinently, official data reveals the occupancy in the jails of J&K at this time is 10 times more than their capacity. To decongest jails in J&K, over two hundred prisoners, including some of them who were arrested under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), were released in April last year.

In addition, the Home department had also revoked the PSA of 41 prisoners held in different jails outside J&K and ordered their release.