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PM inaugurates five jail buildings
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday inaugurated five new buildings in jails increasing accommodation capacities by 2,036 inmates in the prisons that were now accommodating almost thrice their capacities.
She inaugurated newly built Sylhet Central Jail and four district jails in Kishoregonj, Pirojpur, Feni and Madaripur through videoconference from her residence Ganabhaban.
The 68 jail in the country are now overcrowded with 92,743 inmates against the capacity of 36,614 as the number of arrests increased in recent months especially ahead of the 11th parliamentary elections due by January 28, 2019
The newly built buildings have increased the capacities of the five prisons to 3,950 from the existing capacities of 1,914 inmates.
The capacity was increased to 2,000 from 1,200 in Sylhet Central Jail, 800 from 245 in Kishorganj district jail, 350 from 110 in Madaripur district jail, 350 from 172 in Feni district jail and 450 from 177 in Pirojpur district jail, prison officials said.
The officials, however, said that the prisons could accommodate three to five times their capacities.
In a letter in August, the inspector general of prisons urged the government to build makeshift facilities inside five prisons in Narshingdi, Gazipur, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, and Manikganj creating rooms for 40 inmates in each of the sheds in 3-4 months as the number of inmates in those prisons was 5-10 times the capacity.
According to the jail statistics, the number of inmates was 2,023 in Narayanganj jail against the capacity of was 200 and 863 in Manikganj district jail against the capacity of 100, as of August 8.
A jail official told BDchronicle on Thursday that they were yet to receive any order over the construction of the sheds.
The statistics showed that the number of inmates was 88,424 on August 13 which was the highest after 2005, when 73,192 inmates were in jails against the capacity of 28,668.
The number of inmates began rising in February before Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia was jailed on February 8 in a graft case.
The number of inmates was about 77,500 with the average release of 2,000 people and landing of 1,200 people per day in early February. The number reached 80,697 on May 12.
Statistics showed that 69,189 under-trial prisoners, 17,504 convicts, 1,611 death row convicts and 81 people who had served pout the sentences but yet to be released, were in the 68 jails, as of August 13 while.