Illegal activities surge in jails under officials’ nose


LAHORE: A so-called rate list to accept bribes is fixed in different jails of the provincial capital by which prisoners are ‘allowed’ to do illegal activities, including the use of mobile phones and drugs, and sexual assault of other inmates, Pakistan Today has learned.

According to inside sources, the jail superintendent has ignored the orders of the Punjab government while prisons IG is also silent over the mater. The jail authorities have failed to take the required arrangements for Ramzan, including sehr and iftar preparations, they added.

The wardens in Kot Lakhpat Jail and Camp Jail have been collecting bribes in the shape of a ‘rate list’ whereby crimes including infiltration of mobile phones and drugs have become a routine matter.

Every night, after lights go out, the inmates bring out their mobile phones. One inmate, on the condition of anonymity, told Pakistan Today that the conditions of prison cells in previous years was far better as no one was allowed to deal in bribe and commit illegal activities.

He added that the jail wardens even threaten and harass the family members, relatives or friends who come to visit the inmates. “Give us our share or else brace yourself to be worried,” the wardens warn inmates’ visitors according to the anonymous inmate.

The inmate also claimed that the current increase in crime rates across the provincial capital was due to the gang leaders in the jails who receive millions of rupees while operating their accomplices from inside the jails. Murderers, thieves and other criminals are given directions during nights by these mafia leaders, he stressed.

The prisoners also complained of the rising number of sexual assault incidents in the jails. It was conveyed that young inmates are raped whereas the wardens collect bribes to stay silent on the issue.

These inmates made an appeal to the Punjab chief minister and requested him to end ‘the law of jungle’ in the prisons.

When Pakistan Today approached Jail Superintendent Asghar Munir, he pointed out that he had been in the position for just over two weeks, promising to improve the conditions and end all illegal activities in the prisons. Strict action will be taken against those officials who help the perpetrators, he added.