first_imgJammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, today asked the state’s Home Department and the police to expedite the review of cases of youth who have been booked on charges of stone-pelting between 2008 and 2014.She said those who took to the wrong path inadvertently have to be given an opportunity to restart their lives as productive citizens in order to rebuild their careers.REFORMS IN STATE’S PRISONS”The Home Department and the police should expedite the process of taking a holistic review of the cases registered against the youth between 2008 and 2014 for stone-pelting and decide on merits how many of such cases can be withdrawn to give these young boys an opportunity to begin their lives afresh and live as productive citizens,” Mehbooba said while chairing a high-level meeting to discuss reforms in the state’s prisons.The Chief Minister sought a report, within two days, about the nine youth presently lodged in various jails in cases pertaining to stone-pelting, as was revealed in the meeting by the Director General, Prisons.DEPORTATION OF A PAKISTANI NATIONALShe asked the Director General of Police to take up the matter regarding deportation of a deaf, dumb and mentally deranged Pakistani national to his country.He is lodged in a jail in the state for having accidentally crossed the LoC.”Why has been the person kept in jail for so long, when he is not only deaf and dumb, but mentally deranged also,” she asked.Mehbooba said that the state and its law enforcing agencies shouldn’t be seen acting in a callous manner and should be more humane while dealing with such cases.advertisementPRISONS ARE CENTRES OF REFORMATION, NOT PLACES OF PUNISHMENTEmphasizing on the need for review and upgradation of the jail manual in the sate, the Chief Minister said the review, which was already overdue, should be aimed at making the prisons centres of reformation rather than places of punishment.CENTRAL JAIL TO BE RELOCATED?The Chief Minister also called for identification of alternate site in the periphery of Srinagar city for shifting of Central Jail Srinagar from its existing location in Kathidarwaza area of Shahr-e-Khaas.She asked the Director General Prisons to coordinate with the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir for identification of an alternate site and come up with a report within seven days.She said once the Central Jail is shifted from the present location, the existing establishment in the Old City could be converted into a multi-utility recreational-cum-sports facility while some part could be also developed as an exclusive Handicrafts Promotion Centre.The Chief Minister said directions have already been given regarding identification of suitable land in the winter capital.SKILL TRAINING TO JAIL INMATESFocusing on the need for imparting skill training to the jail inmates, Mehbooba said the government would bring the jails under the purview of the integrated Skill Development Mission.”We should try to make productive use of the time the inmates spend in prisons by imparting them education and skill training so that once they come out, they gel with the social milieu immediately and earn respectable livelihood,” she said.She added that efforts should be made to match the trades in which training is imparted to the needs of the society so that on release from prisons, the individuals, could not only adjust in the society but also get gainful employment.Mehbooba said some of the jail inmates can be also trained in making furniture and furnishings and if they were able to produce quality products, the government Departments would be asked to make maximum purchases from jails which have developed the capacity for large-scale production.MORE FACILITIES IN PRISONSThe Chief Minister also asked the Youth Services and Sports Department to create additional sports and recreational facilities in the jails for the inmates.She said the period spent by under-trials and convicts in jails must be utilized to the benefit of the inmates.Responding to the plea of Director General Prisons that there were not many qualified teachers and vocational training instructors in jails, the Chief Minister asked the Commissioner Secretary, Education and Secretary Technical Education, to provide the necessary staff to all the jails and also design a sustainable and workable educational curriculum for the inmates.She called for providing adequate medical, correctional and supervisory staff to all the jails.She further called for organizing regular health awareness programmes in the jails.The Chief Minister said the new jail at Pulwama, to be opened soon, should become a model of reformation and a model prison instead of being a traditional jail.advertisementAlso Read:NC targets Mehbooba Mufti for putting imams under surveillance Mehbooba Mufti invites wrath of Opposition for linking militant attack on CRPF with Islamlast_img

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