BENGALURU: Some wardens force women convicts to have sex with male convicts, according to a letter written from inside the Bangalore Central Prison. Signed by a group of women inmates, the letter alleges the wardens charge the men between Rs 300 and Rs 500 for the ‘service’.
A judge who found two letters in a grievances box — detailing the goings-on at the Parappana Agrahara prison — has forwarded them to the Karnataka High Court for action. The letters, copies of which have been accessed by Express, are addressed to the Chief Justice of Karnataka, and seek his intervention to end the rampant exploitation of women convicts. One of the letters lists the names of wardens and officials who send convicts to male prisoners, and extort bribes.
The women are allegedly fleeced for everything: they pay Rs 200 to Rs 300 just to meet relatives, even though the visits are legitimate.
Officials have created an environment where nothing can be accessed without money. This forces women convicts to give in to their pressure, the letter, written in Kannada, states. “If we don’t pay, they yell at us like they would at dogs, and don’t allow us to talk to our relatives,” it says.
If the alleged flesh trade inside the jail tells a shocking story of misuse of power, the wardens’ greed for food shows their extreme pettiness.
“We have to give them an equal share of the food brought in by our relatives, or they take away everything from us,” states the letter.
The wardens taunt the women, saying they are in jail to suffer and not to eat good food or dress up neatly.
“If you enjoy such things, then what is the point of your conviction?” is the officials’ line.
A senior woman official isn’t heeding the grievances, and allegedly brushes them off saying, “I don’t come here to listen to your complaints.”
The wardens allegedly allowed two prisoners — a woman convicted for having her husband murdered, and an English-speaking undertrial — to keep their mobile phones with them.
When other inmates asked them about it, the women allegedly said they had paid off the officials to use the phones. They said the others inmates can also enjoy the privilege if they had the money.
The wardens allegedly threaten to report inmates for misbehaviour and ruin their parole chances if they complain to the higher authorities.
The women prisoners seek relief from harassment by the jail’s six women wardens so that they could complete their terms in peace.
When Express contacted Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) P M Jaisimha, he denied the allegations. “Even I don’t go to the female prisoners’ cell,” he said.
Additional Inspector-General of Prisons V S Raja said not everything could be monitored since the jail was short of staff.
131 Women Behind Bars
According to a report submitted by Deputy Inspector-General of Prisons K V Gagandeep on October 28, 15 female convicts are serving rigorous imprisonment terms and three simple imprisonment at Parappana Agrahara.
Women undertrials number 89. Four youth offenders (19-23), eight arrested for narcotics offences, and 12 foreign women are also housed at the jail off Hosur Road.
The women convicts have also sought action against Padmavathi (Prisoner No 144), describing her as a rowdy who leaves even jail officials terrified. She grabs food brought in by relatives of other convicts, and beats up those who resist her demands. She thrashed prisoner Jyothi and slit her hand with a blade, but was not given any punishment, the letter states, demanding that she be transferred out.