Shillong prisoners pen grievances on brochures

SHILLONG, Oct 25 : With writing paper denied to them, prisoners here are using religious brochures distributed by clergymen to write their grievances.

The matter came to light after several complaints addressed to jail authorities were found written on the back of brochures, a prison official said Wednesday.

"The prisoners are doing this as they are not being provided paper by the jail staff," the official told IANS.

The Shillong Jail, infamous for several prison breaks, some in alleged collusion with the staff, set up two complaint boxes in August.

The British-era jail was set up in 1895 with a capacity to house 150 inmates. But there are over 300 people in the jail.

There have been 30 prison breaks between 1990 and 2009, averaging one every nine months.

Initially, inmates were given paper, and complaints on the conditions in the prison came thick and fast.

Recently, prison employees went on strike, accusing its chief Kulbir Krishan of high-handedness.

Krishan rubbished the allegations and said the protest was because they feared disciplinary action against illegal activities in the prison administration.