Among the children who live in West Bengal’s jails with their parents, 63% are Bangladeshi citizens, an article
in The Hindu states.
According to the article, a report by India’s State Department of Correctional Administration, which discloses this fact, has been submitted to the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR).
WBCPCR Chairperson Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti has told The Hindu: “According to the report, as of May 30, 2017, there are 262 children of inmates in 19 jails in Bengal. Out of these, 164 (or 62.59%) are Bangladeshi children.”
Moreover, 11 of the 262 children are from Myanmar, she said.
The ages of the children run from two years to six years.
Regarding the Bangladeshi children, the report reveals that 72 of them are housed in Kolkata’s Dum Dum Central Correctional Home and 50 live at the Murshidabad district’s Berhampore Central Correctional Home.
Jails in South Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and Bardhaman districts hold the others.
“The main objective behind WBCPCR seeking the report was to know whether these children are getting proper nutrition, vaccination, education, as well as [to check] whether they were facing any abuse in jail,” Chakraborti told The Hindu.
She said the report reveals the children are in good condition.
According to The Hindu, the WBCPCR plans to carry out from this August an inspection of the 19 jails holding the children in order to verify the information provided by the jail authorities in the report.
Based on the inspection findings, a “comprehensive programme focusing on nutrition, education and medical facilities” will be adopted for the children lodged in West Bengal’s jails, including the Bangladeshi children, Chakraborti added.
The rationale behind the high number of Bangladeshi children in Bengal’s jails is that, unlike Indian prisoners, as Bangladeshi inmates have no place to leave their children, they bring their children with them to the jails, she further said.