As per the Nagaland Women Commission Act 2006, Functions of the Commission in para-5 (j) to study and report on the conditions of women in jails, the Commission Chairperson Dr. Temsula Ao, along with Members Mrs. Kakheli Jakhalu and Mrs. Asangla Cholong, visited District Jail Dimapur on 14.12.17 and Kohima District Jail on 16.12.17, and met the Jailors and staff before meeting the female inmates individually without police presence.
In Dimapur District Jail there were 3 female inmates booked under Murder, Forgery/Cheating and Kidnapping, who were lodged in a separate enclosure within the jail complex and their routines are supervised by women police only. They get their meals brought to them from the common kitchen. They get amenities like washing and bathing soaps. They are also given four rough blankets but no mosquito nets.
In this jail the inmates are taught some basic skills like basket weaving and tailoring. One inmate showed us the baskets she made, out of bamboo and plastic sheets and we were told that they make a decent amount which is kept with warden and given to them when necessary. Tailoring has also been taught when there were more inmates. They have also created a kitchen garden inside their enclosure.
The NSCW interviewed the inmates individually and when asked whether they had visits from their families, they were honest enough to say that only female relatives came to see them occasionally. The men rejected them because they brought ‘bad’ name to their families. We were told that they were content with the facilities provided to them. But one thing they were worried about is their future after release; where they will go because most families are reluctant to take them back.
Therefore there is an urgent need for the State to build adequate Shelter homes to help these women to live and work towards re-joining society as normal citizens.
In the Kohima Jail the Female Cell is not a separate enclosure but within the main one, though it is secured by a concrete wall. The area is cramped and leaves no space for other activities as is available in Dimapur. During our earlier visit too we had recommended for a separate enclosure for female inmates with adequate space for other gainful activities as we found in Dimapur. When we visited there were only 2 inmates booked under NDPS Act.
We reiterate our earlier recommendation and urge the State Government to take up the construction of this facility for the female inmates in Kohima Jail too for their security.