This is a small report on prison life in Tihar, to bring home facts about a world and its people completely invisible to the outside world. PUDR’s repeated request to jail authorities seeking permission to undertake formal visits to the jail was rejected and thus the present report is largely based on published accounts of prison life, court judgments and also some interviews with ex-detainees and families of those visiting the jail for mulaqat (visit) on a regular basis. Housing nearly twice its original capacity, in 9 separate jails, Tihar is one of the most populated prisons in the whole of South Asia. As per the data provided by Jail authorities, Tihar has approximately 11,738 inmates as opposed to its capacity of housing 6,250 persons. 82 percent of Tihar’s inmates consist of under-trials, while convicts and detenues make up for the remaining 18 percent. In terms of total share, women prisoners constitute roughly 4 percent while men make up the remaining 96 percent. Jail No.6 in Tihar houses women prisoners. A look at the data provided for this single jail alone shows the number of women under-trial prisoners to be roughly 85 percent of the total. Of this, about 40 percent of women under-trials consist of those who have already been in Tihar well over a year.
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