85 children languishing in jails, Senate told
ISLAMABAD – As many as 85 children, including 45 new born, are languishing in different jails of the country just because their mothers are undergoing various prison terms.
The official record shows that 45 children were born to women prisoners during first six months of the current year. The record was provided to Senate by the interior ministry in response to a question by Senator Enver Baig.
A copy of the record obtained by Dawn showed that the number of children born to women in captivity was highest in Punjab, followed by the NWFP and Sindh, while no births had been recorded in official prison records of Balochistan.
According to the record, 11 children were born to women in captivity in the NWFP, 10 in Sindh and 24 in Punjab. As many as nine women prisoners, including seven under-trial ones and two convicts, gave births in Rawalpindi Central Jail during 2004. All these women fell in the age group of 19 to 28 years.
In New Central Jail Bahawalpur, four women were living with children, while no birth was recorded in the prison. Similarly, in Central Jail Gujranwala, one woman gave birth this year, while eight women were shown with sucklings and one was admitted with three children.
In District Jail Sheikhupura, the record provided to the Senate showed that, one woman gave birth this year. In District Jail Gujrat, the record shows two children were born, while another two were living with their mothers.
In District Jail Jhang, five children were born, while another 11 were living with their mothers. The record of District Jail Sargodha showed that two children born in the prison were living with their mothers.
In District Jail Shahpur, three children were born, while in District Jail Faisalabad, one child was born. Likewise, in District Jail Attock, one child was born. In women jail Multan, 10 women – five under-trial ones, four convicted and one condemned – are imprisoned with their children.
The only condemned prisoner with a child in Multan women jail is a 22-year-old woman undergoing imprisonment with her three-year-old boy, Shakeel Ahmed, for committing an offence under section 302 of PPC.
Four convicted women in Multan Jail undergoing imprisonment on account of 302, 302/34 or 308 PPC have children as young as 10 months old. The five under-trial women prisoners in Multan have sucklings with the eldest being a three-year old baby girl.