Lucknow: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked for a detailed report from the Chief Secretary and IG (Prisons) of Uttar Pradesh after media reported that 24 prisoners are HIV positive.
Taking a suo motu cognisance of the reports, the NHRC has issued a notice to the Yogi Adityanath government.
As per the reports, 24 prisoners comprise 21 undertrials and three convicts, including a woman were infected with the virus.
Reportedly, during the tests conducted by the Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society in 70 jails of the state, 265 prisoners were tested HIV positive till December last year. These cases have been reported from the jails in Bareilly, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Faizabad, Agra, Meerut, Varanasi and Kanpur.
The NHRC has also observed that the contents of the news report, if true, indicate towards a sorry state of affairs in the jails of UP. There is an urgent need to conduct a probe into the matter to determine the cause of the spread of HIV infection among the inmates.
The Commission has asked to take immediate preventive measures to prevent the spread of the disease as well as provide necessary medical treatment to those suffering from it.
As per the media reports, carried on 28th February, 2018, the jail administration has claimed that the disease did not spread inside the jails but the prisoners were previously infected. Most of them have been jailed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
In the month of October, 2017 on the initiative of Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society, a camp was started to conduct blood tests on the prisoners to detect HIV in which, more than half of them were tested.