Many inmates at the District Prison in Gorahi are forced to sleep in plastic sheds with nothing to ward off the freezing cold. As the prison facility built with a capacity to house 50 inmates is currently accommodating over 170 prisoners, many inmates have been left with no option but to sleep in the plastic sheds built in an open area even during the harsh winter season, taking a serious toll on their health. “Forget about sleeping comfortably, there is not enough space to even sit in the plastic sheds. The condition of the sick people is even more pitiful as they are also compelled to sleep in very cold and miserable living conditions near the stream,” said Paras Hamal, one of the inmates of the prison. “The prison facility houses three times more people than it was originally built for. So, we had no alternative other than to adjust 20 prisoners by making plastic sheds outside in the open,” said Jailor Ranbir Budha, adding that it is also very difficult for them to cram these many people in such a tiny space. “But what can we do in this kind of situation? We provide the prisoners with plastics and they make the makeshift sheds themselves,” he said. “We have done as much as we can. But still, the living condition in the prison is miserable.
The prison is very damp and cold as water has managed to seep inside it. But because of security reasons, we are not even able to make a hole in the prison wall and let the water out,” said Chief District officer Parshuram Aryal. According to him, the main reason behind the overcrowded prison is the delayed trial proceedings of most of the prisoner. A taskforce of the Parliamentary Committee on Social Justice and Human Right formed to study, monitor and inspect the condition of the prisons all over the country also reported that the inmates are living in very “pitiful condition” in the District Prison in Gorahi. Pancha Karna Rai, the coordinator of the task force, said, “There is lack of a proper place to sleep and the prisoners are literally squeezed together in the overcrowded prison. The inmates do not even enjoy basic human rights.” Kamala Dong, one of the members of the task force, added, “Even sick inmates afflicted with a communicable disease are sharing the same roof with other inmates. What if the disease becomes contagious and spread to other inmates? The management has to be very serious regarding this matter”. Among the prisons the taskforce had inspected in 10 districts, the Gorahi prison was found to be the most dysfunctional and unmanaged. “A new prison with a capacity to house 200 inmates is being built in Tulsipur. Once that prison becomes operational, we hope that Gorahi prison will be less crowded,” said CDO Aryal. The new prison in Tulsipur is being built with an investment of Rs 41 million.