Inmates sleep on floor in overcrowded Dolakha prison

Published On: May 22, 2019 09:37 AM NPT By: Ramesh Khatiwada

DOLAKHAd, May 22: Of late, inmates at the District Prison, Dolakha, have been spending their nights in misery in a congested two-story prison building originally meant for only female prisoners. The situation is such that as many as 25 inmates live in a single room. While some sleep in the passages, others remain awake all night in the narrow space behind the stairs.

"We hardly have any space to even stretch our feet while sleeping," said an inmate, Ram Chandra Karki, adding, "There are days when we have to wait for our turn to have a proper sleep." According to him, all inmates do not go to sleep at the same time and wait for their turn because the prison doesn't have enough space.

The district prison which has the capacity of accommodating only 17 inmates currently has 94. "Only we know how we have been surviving inside the building," said another inmate, Hikmat Chhetri, adding, "It is worse than living in hell."

The prison administration awarded a contract to build a separate building for male inmates with a two-year deadline. But due to the negligence of the contractor, the building has not been completed even after seven years. The contractor, Khampache Construction Service, was entrusted with the responsibility of constructing the building in 2012. 

 So, these inmates will have to suffocate in the congested building until a separate building for male inmates is ready. "As we sleep together, if one member has to wake up at night for going to toilet, we all have to get up," said one of the inmates. Not just that, these people have to stand in queue and wait for hours even to go to toilet.

Earlier, two of the inmates who had been sentenced life imprisonment by the court committed suicide in the toilet of Dolakha prison within a span of four months. Prakash Nepal, chief of the prison, admitted that the jailbirds are having great difficulties inside the prison due to the lack of enough space.

"We don't have enough rooms for the inmates to sleep in," said Nepal, adding, "That is why they have been sleeping on the floors and passages." He also blamed the sluggish work of the contractor for the misery of the inmates. "The number of inmates is increasing day by day. I don't know how we are going to manage," Nepal added.

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