Manjeri: With the number of cases registered under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on the rise, the authorities of the special sub-jail here are finding the going tough with overcrowding of prisoners.
The prison is crammed with 95 convicts jostling for space when its total sanctioned capacity is just 35. Out of the 95 inmates, 60 are undertrials in cases registered under the POCSO Act. Most of them are remand prisoners in cases that had been transferred to the exclusive POCSO court through various first-class magistrate courts in the district.
In most cases, the offender would be granted the benefit of default bail only after being in judicial custody for a period of 90 days.
Over the past few days, two persons, one hailing from Mankada and the other from Kalikavum, who were booked under the POCSO Act, have been remanded in judicial custody in the Manjeri sub-jail.
Among the police stations in the district, most number of POCSO cases were reported from areas that fall under the jurisdiction of Malappuram, Kottakkal, Kondotty and Areekode stations.
Basic facilities and security arrangements at the Manjeri sub-jail are grossly inadequate. Also, it has inadequate CCTVs for monitoring the activities of inmates.
The renovation works on the stretch in front of the prison complex have been inordinately delayed. The proposed tailoring unit for female prisoners is yet to take off. Though new posts of three assistant prison officer and a deputy prison officer were created, appointments have not been made yet.
The post of assistant superintendent in charge of the women’s cell is also lying vacant.