SRINAGAR — A mere two per cent of jail inmates in Jammu and Kashmir has been vaccinated against COVID-19 so far.
Details collected by KNO reveal that only 91 prisoners have been administered doses of COVID-19 vaccine in different prisons of the Union Territory till date.
Of them, 38 were inoculated in Central Jail Srinagar and 53 in Rajouri. Not a single prisoner has been vaccinated against the deadly pandemic in remaining 11 jails of J&K.
After the outbreak of second wave of COVID-19, nearly 90 prisoners have tested positive for the virus in J&K.
As per figures revealed by the Prisons Department on May 10, 4572 persons — convicts, undertrials and detainees — were lodged in 13 jails of J&K.
The disclosure that only 2 per cent of prisoners have been vaccinated till date has come to fore at a time when a high-level committee headed by Justice Ali Muhammad Magray has directed the Director General of Police (DGP) Prisons to coordinate with the Health Department to ensure vaccination of jail inmates as well as staff on priority.
The committee comprising Principal Secretary, Home, Shaleen Kabra, and DGP Prisons, B. Srinivas, was constituted last year to decide on the release of convicts/undertrials to decongest prisons in the wake of outbreak of first wave of COVID-19.
It is pertinent to mention that the J&K High Court has dismissed a petition that sought COVID-19 vaccination of prisoners lodged in different jails of the UT.
The court had said that the petitioners were at liberty to submit a comprehensive representation regarding the registration and vaccination of the prisoners to the Director General of Prisons.
“In the event any such representation is submitted, the Director General of Prisons, would consider it and take all possible and immediate steps for the registration and the vaccination of the prisoners or may formulate a policy or a scheme so that no inmate of the jail remains unvaccinated,” the court said. (KNO)