NHRC seeks report from UP govt. over spread of AIDS among prisoners

ANI | Updated: Mar 07, 2018 23:33 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 7 (ANI): Taking cognizance of media reports that claimed that 24 prisoners had tested positive for HIV in the Gorakhpur district jail in the last four months, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government seeking detailed reports on the matter within six weeks.

"NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that twenty-four prisoners have tested positive for HIV in the last four months at Gorakhpur District Jail in Uttar Pradesh. They include 21 undertrials and three convicts, including a woman. Reportedly, during the tests conducted by the Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society in 70 jails of the State, 265 prisoners were tested HIV positive till December last year. These cases have been reported from the jails in Bareilly, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Faizabad, Agra, Meerut, Varanasi and Kanpur," a release issued by the NHRC read.

The Commission has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and IG (Prisons) of Uttar Pradesh calling for detailed reports in the matter within six weeks along with the steps taken to deal with the menace.

It has also observed that the contents of the news report, if true, indicate towards a sorry state of affairs in the jails of Uttar Pradesh.

According to a media report, carried on February 28, the jail administration claimed that the disease did not spread inside the jail and the prisoners were already infected when they arrived. Most of them have been jailed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the release said.

As reported, in the month of October last year, on the initiative of Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society, a camp was started to conduct blood tests on the prisoners to detect HIV in which, several of the prisoners were tested.

Those found infected include 21 undertrials and three convicts, including a woman. (ANI)