Page:Forty Thousand Followers of Gandhi in Prison.djvu/14

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as to teach them a lesson. But they profess one thing and do another. The Government of India clearly stated in open Council that political prisoners would be treated with every consideration.

Eaten alive by mosquitoes.

The prisoners in most of the jails in the Punjab are made to wear the degrading jail uniform which consists of a shirt with half arms and a pair of shorts. Exposed portions of the body are simply eaten alive by the mosquitoes. They are not afforded any facilities for reading newspapers. No light is allowed to them at night. The sanitary arrangements are defective and no attempt is made to secure privacy even in the lavatories. The food is the ordinary mess common to the jails, very often unwholesome and disgusting, flavoured with half heated oil, which stinks in the nostrils and with a good admixture of dust and grit.

In some of the jails very hard work, like grinding of corn and preparing reeds for rope-making, etc., are given to these people who are mostly town-bred and unaccustomed to hard manual labour. They are made to undergo periodical parades simply to humiliate them. For fancied offences against jail discipline harsh punishments like solitary confinement, standing hand cuffed, etc., are inflicted. In Lyallpur jail, I have been told, men are made to work at Munj Pounding in the hot blazing sun. In several cases even the ordinary right of interviews by relatives allowed by jail rules are taken away, and a prisoner like Lala Lajpat Rai is not allowed to see even his relatives. The result of this policy of wanton insult and degradation has been to force the prisoners very often to go on hunger strike as a protest. In Ambala jail the prisoners are not allowed to say their prayers. It was alleged that a Mohammadan boy was punished for asking for water to perform ablutions before prayers.

In Ludhiana Jail the the religious books have been treated with disrespect by the jail officials and when a