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11 prisoners commit suicide in Delhi jails in 3 years

Eleven prisoners, including the main accused in the December 16 gangrape case, committed suicide while 16 others attempted suicide in Delhi prisons in the past three years.

Prison authorities claimed that most of these inmates took the extreme step due to mental stress.

Delhi has two jail complexes, one at Tihar which is the largest jail complex in the world comprising nine central prisons while the other one is the District Prison at Rohini Prison Complex.

The total number of inmates in the ten prisons is around 12,000 as against the sanctioned capacity of 6,250.

According to official data, 11 prisoners committed suicide and 16 attempted to end their lives during the past three years till September 30, 2014. Ram Singh, the main accused in the December 16 gang-rape case, allegedly committed suicide inside jail premises in 2013.

In order to prevent such incidents, prison authorities have set up ‘Gumsum Panchayat’ in every ward, members of which identify prisoners who are under stress and they are provided counselling by Welfare Officers and counsellors of NGOs.

Meanwhile, official records revealed that 40 prisoners could not be released even after they were granted parole/ bail, as on December 11, due to non-availability of surety and financial restraints.

The authorities have installed 32 cell phone jammers to rule out any possibility of use of mobile phones by the inmates inside jail premises.

As many as 258 CCTV cameras have already been installed in Delhi jails to keep surveillance over the activities of prisoners and 233 more CCTV cameras will become functional shortly, officials said.

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