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Tripura Left leader seeks increased wages for prisoners

Agartala, February 12 (IANS): Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and former Tripura Finance and Health Minister Badal Choudhury on Wednesday demanded an increase in the wages of convicted prisoners in the state.


Choudhury in a letter to Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar said the convicted prisoners in Tripura are getting a daily wage of Rs 33 for their work inside the jail while the convicted prisoners of other states are getting higher wages.


"Convicted prisoners in West Bengal are getting Rs 93 per day followed by Rs 80 in Bihar and Rs 75 in Assam. Thus, the daily wages of the convicted prisoners in Tripura should be at least Rs 70," said Choudhury, deputy leader of the opposition Left group in the Tripura assembly.


He said the jail authorities have also been deducting a 20 per cent amount from the wages (Rs 33) of the convicted prisoners.


"There is no account of this deduction and prisoners are also not aware why this amount is deducted from their wages and for what purpose and how much is in their credit," the sitting eight-time legislator informed the Chief Secretary in his letter.


He said that the jail authorities are providing only 500 grams of rice per day to the inmates of the jail against the stipulated 700 grams.


The Left leader said there are many convicted prisoners whose conviction period was over long back but due to lack of initiative, they have not been released from the jails.


"According to the Bengal jail code, convicted prisoners who have been in jail for many years, after observing the formalities, have the right to go on parole to meet their families and relatives for a stipulated period. This system is also not being followed by the jail authorities, said the former MP.


He said on an average 500 to 600 convicted and undertrial prisoners are lodged in the Central Jail, which is also called the "Central Correctional Centre", at Gautam Nagar in Sepahijala district, but some portions of the buildings of the jail are in a dilapidated condition and the staff strength of the jail is also very less.


"The separate prisoners block for women inside the jail, where generally 50-60 convicted and under trial prisoners are lodged, is also in a very bad state," the CPI-M leader stated.


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