DHARAN, July 14: The detention center of Area Police Office (APO), Dharan, has the capacity of accommodating 40 detainees but it is currently crammed with some 93 detainees.
There are two custody rooms in the APO's detention center and both are exceptionally overcrowded. Though the custody room for female detainees was separated recently, it's capacity is extremely low. Detainees accused of minor offences to serious crimes like drug trafficking are all kept at the same detention center. Some of them are suffering from serious health problems. As per the rules, criminals must be separated to different prisons as per the nature of their crimes but this has not been possible here due to the lack of a proper detention center.
"At the moment we are accommodating more inmates than the detention center can actually hold. This definitely has created a lot of difficulties," said Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) at the APO Rameshwar Paudel, adding, "More than anything, we are worried that diseases might be communicated to healthy detainees from the ill ones." According to Paudel, it isn't wise to keep those arrested for breaking traffic rules together with those who have been arrested for drug dealing. Some of the criminals are suffering from Hepatitis C as well as various other communicable diseases. The situation becomes more miserable in the monsoon.
This detention center was built more than a decade ago and lacks various infrastructures. So, APO is all determined to build a new 'modern' detention center with the help of locals. A 17-member committee led by former deputy mayor of Dharan, Min Subba has been formed for the construction of the new detention center. Pawan Kumar Agrawal, former chief of Sunsari Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been appointed as the coordinator, DSP Rameshwor Paudel as secretary, Upendra Chamling as under-secretary and Sunita Rai as treasurer of the committee.
The new detention center will be a two-storied building with the capacity of holding 160 detainees. It will have two VIP rooms with the capacity of accommodating 15 to 20 detainees. Not just that, it will have all the infrastructures like attached bathrooms and toilets. A road, a garden and a waiting room will be constructed in front of the building. All 20 wards of Dharan Municipality have been told to sanction Rs 50,000 each for the prison.
1. The prisoners seen through CCTV footage in the Area Police Office (APO), Dharan.
2. Members of committee showing the place and design of the new prison.