The jail authorities again suspended visitors’ entry to the jail gate for meeting their relatives from Sunday in the wake of worsening COVID-19 situation.
Inmates have been suggested to contact their families over telephones set up at all the 68 jails in March 2020 when COVID-19 begun.
‘The decision of suspending visitors’ meetings with inmates has been taken in consultation with the home minister considering present COVID-19 situation,’ inspector general of prisons Md Mominur Rahman Mamun told New Age.
He said that he conveyed the decision to all the superintendents of the jails through short messages and the Prisons Directorate will notify the decision through a notice to be published in the Bangladesh Gazette on Sunday.
Mominur said that each inmate would be allowed to talk with their near and dear ones for maximum 10 minutes using telephone booths.
He said that the home ministry in consultation with the law ministry would take decision whether inmates could be produced in the courts during the surge of the infections.
‘I will prefer operation of online courts to attend inmates in the hearings from the jails as it was done during the lockdown last year,’ he said.
Jail officials told New Age that the visitors were allowed to meet their detained relatives’ once in 15 days since March 1 after lifting the restrictions on the meetings imposed earlier in March 2020.
Since then, prisoners could talk to their relatives for highest eight minutes over mobile phones set up at different jail gates under the supervision from jail wardens, they said. They said that Tk 1 has been charged for per minute talks.
They said that each prisoner has individual cash accounts which are jointly maintained by jail superintendents and jailors.
The moneys in these accounts are spent by the inmates to buy better meals from the jail canteens, cigarettes and to meet the other needs.
The jail authorities said that relatives could send money to inmates through mobile money transfer services of Bkash and Nagad.
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