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Revamping structure: Faisalabad's Borstal Jail wall construction kicks off.

Byline: Ijaz Ansari

FAISALABAD -- The construction work on the main boundary wall of Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail in Faisalabad that had collapsed due to a thunderstorm a few months ago has begun. For the purpose, Rs2.4 million funds have been released by the provincial government, while the estimated cost to revamp the prison is approximately Rs153 million.

Jail Superintendent Ghulam Mustafa told Express News that the funds provided for the construction of the wall and renovation work are not sufficient. He said that as the work will take time to complete, the juvenile prisoners could not be transferred back to Borstal jail from Faisalabad prison.

While giving details of the wall collapse incident, he said the 14-feet-tall central wall, which is attached to the watch tower situated at the back of the jail, collapsed during the night when 150 prisoners were preparing to sleep. However, no one was able to escape.

Ghulam Mustafa mentioned that soon after the incident, an operation was initiated to transfer the prisoners to Faisalabad Central Jail which was supervised by Regional DIG Abdul Rauf Rana.

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He elaborated that special cells were established in two barracks immediately to keep the younger prisoners away from dangerous inmates.

It is worth mentioning that the prisoners at Borstal Jail were being educated and entertained with the assistance of a local company. The move aimed to help the inmates become useful citizens. They were offered courses in technical fields such as motor mechanics, motor winding, welding, tailoring and computer sciences. However, after being shifted to Central Jail, the prisoners may not be able to avail the same opportunities to learn those skills.

Meanwhile, during the past several years the government and the authorities at the jail have not renovated or restored the Borstal Institute and Jail.

Prison officials revealed that the central part of the wall, which was established in 2001, collapsed in June 2002 while the second part collapsed in July 2011. They added that the former Punjab Jail DIG (Headquarters) Safaraz Mufti and DIG (Operations) Abdul Sattar Aajiz carried out an inspection before taking control of the 52 acre jail.

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They stated in the inspection report that the contractor used sub-standard material to construct the prison. However, action could not be taken against the firm due to pressure from higher authorities.

They maintained that in a bid to improve the jail's conditions, the Lahore High Court and Federal Ombudsman issued instructions.

However, the officials concerned failed to take practical measures.

A few months ago, a report regarding attempts to restore Borstal Jail was sent to the officials in which funds worth Rs138 million were requested. But not a single penny was issued in this regard.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 22, 2018
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