Inmates kept in custody in Humla and Mugu for lack of prisonsThe accused, remanded into custody, have to stay in police custody until the court’s final hearing.
Dhanlal Rokaya, who was remanded into custody a year and a half ago by the Humla District Court, is still in police custody at the District Police Office in Humla.
Due to a lack of prisons in Humla, those remanded by the District Court are being kept in police custody in Humla. Ram Prasad Gharti, Deputy Superintendent of Police, said that they have been facing difficulties accommodating inmates at the police custody, especially for longer periods. He said, “We have no option but to keep inmates in police custody itself. Because of this, the District Police Office has been unable to provide facilities to the inmates. We don’t have the resources for it.”
According to the District Police Office in Humla, inmates and the accused, who are remanded into custody, have to stay in police custody until the court’s final hearing. “Even after the court’s decision, it takes at least two to three months to transfer them to prisons in other districts,” said Gharti.
Dabale Rawat, the jailer of Humla Prison Office, said that seven inmates from Humla are currently housed in prisons in Nepalgunj, Surkhet and Dailekh. “We have to keep inmates in police custody, sometimes even for years. We have to wait for permission from the Department of Prison Management to shift inmates to other district prisons, and it’s a lengthy process,” said Rawat.
Although the Building Construction Division Office in Humla has started the process to construct a prison building, construction work is yet to start, said Rawat.
Mugu district too has no prisons and the District Police Office there too faces the same difficulties as that of Humla. The construction work of a prison building in Gamgadhi, the district headquarters of Mugu, which started four years ago, is still incomplete. Therefore, 21 inmates of Mugu have been sent to prisons in Jumla and Bardiya. DSP Bhuwaneshwor Prasad Sah in Mugu said that they need at least Rs 100,000 and 10 security personnel to transfer one inmate from Mugu to other districts. He said, “In the last fiscal year, nine inmates were sent to a Jumla-based prison. It is a hassle to transfer inmates to other districts.”
According to the District Police Office in Mugu, those who have been remanded into custody needs to be presented before the District Court several times during the trial period. “Some of the accused from Mugu are in the Jumla Prison. We have to bring them to Mugu from Jumla during hearings and this delays the judicial process too,” said Sah.
The absence of prisons in Humla and Mugu districts also means that the inmates are deprived of family visits when they are transferred to prisons in other districts. A mother of an inmate from Humla said she has not met her son for a year. She said, “My son is now in Nepalgunj prison. I haven’t seen him for so long, because it costs at least 40,000 to travel to and from Nepalgunj and we don’t have that kind of money.”