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Islamophobia behind Haryana having new jail, 'welcomed' by locals with sweets

By Adv Ashutosh Kumar Mishra*

Recently, Nuh district in the Mewat region of Haryana has been in the news for a peculiar reason. It has been reported that villagers from Nuh district are celebrating the inauguration of a new jail. The celebrations broke out after the demand of the residents was "fulfilled."
The demand was about having a new jail facility constructed near the area. Police officials claim that this new facility will reduce the pressure on Gurugram’s Bhondsi jail and the Faridabad jail. Incidentally, around 40 per cent of the inmates in two jails hail from the Nuh district.
People are saying that earlier, they had to spend money to travel to meet their families since the prison was far away. Now that the jail will be nearer, they will be able to easily meet their children. The jail was inaugurated by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Nuh town on February 15, 2022. The jail complex is said to have the capacity of 1,000 prisoners.
Nearly 30,000 residents of Haryana’s Jamtara, Jamalgarh and Nai villages of Punhana sub-division of the Mewat region, distributed sweets after the inauguration of the new facility in the district. Presently, the Bhondsi jail has a capacity of 3,000 inmates and around 600 of them are from Nuh, and families travel over 60 km to meet their kin.
One important fact to note also in light of this news is that Muslims comprise only 14.2 percent of the population of the country, while according to a recent census data, they constitute 26.4 percent of the total prison population. This disproportion is not random and speaks of the Islamophobic environment of the country, which has been intensified since the last few years under the Modi government.
Additionally, Muslims are also more likely to face torture of all kinds in the police custody. The chances of a fair trial are also skimmer since mostly, they are not in a position to hire good advocates to defend them. Muslims are more likely to be hanged as well when the cases are high-profile, as a look at the historical cases would testify.
At a time when the Indian populace is in need of hospitals, schools, and other facilities that can improve their lives, the government is handing them new jails and presenting them as a good deed.
Healthcare facilities, education, transportation, electricity, etc, are what should be attended to by the government. Instead, we are being presented with more infrastructure designed to incarcerate people.
The National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) has drawn people's attention to the way in which the government is absolving itself from its responsibilities of providing people with facilities to better their lives. Other organisations and civil societies should also speak more emphatically on issues that matter, and not let the government pass by with absolving their responsibilities.
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*Vice-President, Delhi, NCHRO

Comments

A. K.. Luke said…
What does the first part of this report, of a new jail in Nuh, have to do with the next bit which is the disproportionate number of Muslims in Indian jails?

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