Bengaluru: Some wardens force women convicts to have sex with male convicts, according to a letter written from inside the Bangalore Central Prison. Signed by a group of women inmates, the letter alleges the wardens charge the men between Rs 300 and Rs 500 for the ‘service’.
A judge who found two letters in a grievances box — detailing the goings-on at the Parappana Agrahara prison — has forwarded them to the Karnataka High Court for action. The letters, copies of which have been accessed by Express, are addressed to the Chief Justice of Karnataka, and seek his intervention to end the rampant exploitation of women convicts. One of the letters lists the names of wardens and officials who send convicts to male prisoners, and extort bribes.
The women are allegedly fleeced for everything: they pay Rs 200 to Rs 300 just to meet relatives, even though the visits are legitimate.
Officials have created an environment where nothing can be accessed without money. This forces women convicts to give in to their pressure, the letter, written in Kannada, states. “If we don’t pay, they yell at us like they would at dogs, and don’t allow us to talk to our relatives,” it says.
The Home Department has been ordered to conduct an inquiry into the alleged sexual harassment of women inmates in the Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara, said Home Minister K.J. George, who also holds Prison Department portfolio, on Friday. “We have asked the Home secretary to conduct a detailed probe and submit the report in 15 days,” he said.
However, Deputy Inspector General of Prison, P M Jayasimha said, “The women wardens mentioned in the report do not work in the Central prison any more and did not have access inside the prison.” The prison is covered with CCTV cameras and the barracks for men and women inmates are separated by at least half a kilometre, he added.
The inmates could have discussed their problem when a high-level committee from Delhi comprising 15 women, which visited the prison to enquire into their well-being, he said.