Serious lapses found in Dasna jail


Ghaziabad: Following the death of Ashutosh Asthana, the prime accused-cum-witness in a corruption case involving judges of the higher judiciary, in Ghaziabad’s Dasna jail, the district administration conducted an inspection and found serious lapses in the medical facilities available there, officials said Tuesday.

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“The Dasna jail has is over-filled with about 4,700 inmates while its capacity is to accommodate 1,700 inmates. As per norms, there must be two male doctors and one female doctor where about more than 300 women inmates are being lodged. But Dasna jail hospital comprises only one doctor,” Additional District Magistrate (City) Sunil Kumar Srivastava said Tuesday.

The ADM inspected the Dasna jail Monday following mounting pressure after Asthana’s death, though he described the visit as a “routine inspection”.

A four-member team visited the high security zone, hospital, kitchen, women’s barracks and other general barracks. The team also inspected barrack No. 5 – in which Asthana was lodged – and reportedly spoke to around 150 of nearly 200 inmates present there.

After the last inspection, the district administration wrote to the state government but the required facility was not provided, ADM Srivastava said, adding that had there been proper medical facilities inside the jail, Asthana could have been saved.

Finding serious deficiencies in the medical facilities available inside the jail, Srivastava said they were “way below the mark”.

“To handle over 4,700 inmates and under-trials, there is just one senior doctor and a single pharmacist. How can they handle such a large rush? They have just the basic life saving medicines. For serious complications or diseases, they neither have any doctor nor medicines to cure them,” the ADM said.

Terming the Dasna jail hospital as just a “medical clinic”, Srivastava said the hospital had no emergency measures to look after a patient.

Meanwhile, a judicial probe would be conducted into Asthana’s mysterious death, as per the supreme court’s orders and viscera would be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for examination at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.

District Magistrate Ramesh Kumar said: “The viscera samples are still with us. We would hand them over to the CBI as per the court orders. I have written to the district judge for initiating a judicial enquiry. There would be no magisterial enquiry or any probe at administration level.”

Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) A.K. Panda, who has been assigned a separate enquiry, also inspected the jail Monday evening.

“The enquiry is confidential. The SC (supreme court) is directly monitoring it. I cannot comment anything at this stage,” Panda said.