Inmates in tremor-hit Nepal prison demand safer location

PALPA, Nepal - The District Jail in Palpa has developed several cracks due to the April 25 earthquake and endless series of aftershocks.

The already dilapidated prison building that was built during the Rana Regime in 1926 has been completely damaged by the major earthquake, so much so that some section are being propped up by strategically placed wooden beams.

Relatives of around 366 inmates held inside the jail are demanding that they all be shifted to a safer location elsewhere. Out of 12 buildings inside Palpa prison , one building has been completely destroyed by the quake while the remaining has suffered serious damages and rendered uninhabitable.

Jailor Dhirendra Panta said that they are unable to hold the inmates inside the main prison building as it has been completely destroyed.

He said the inmates are currently being held at the building where educational classes were being run.

The jail designed to house 175 inmates had been accommodating 336 inmates, which included 276 male inmates, 82 female, and eight minors.

The relatives of inmates claim that the jail administration had in the past turned a deaf ear to their requests to relocate the inmates from the old building to a safer location.

Female inmates are currently being kept in the newly-constructed building, but that too is not secure. Relatives of prison ers said that even building deemed to be safe could collapse even in case of a minor aftershock.