Assam: Guwahati jail records massive spike of 184 COVID-19 cases, raises questions on management

Assam: Guwahati jail records massive spike of 184 COVID-19 cases, raises questions on management

Assam: Guwahati jail records massive spike of 184 COVID-19 cases, raises questions on management Assam: Guwahati jail records massive spike of 184 COVID-19 cases, raises questions on management

A total of 184 inmates of the Guwahati Central Jail, Assam have been tested positive for the lethal coronavirus on July 16th, 2020. This is the highest ever spike in the jail which raised many questions on the COVID-19 management inside the jails. The inmates have been shifted to different hospitals for medical assistance.

Earlier, 55 inmates including Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leaders Akhil Gogoi, Bitu Sonowal and Dharjya Konwar, who were arrested for their role in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act movement in Assam, were tested positive for the virus.

It may be mentioned that there are around 1,100 inmates lodged in the Guwahati Central Jail, Assam

Including these cases, the state reported a total of 892 cases on July 16th, 2020 taking the total to 20,646; of which 7,039 are active and 13,554 have been cured and discharged while 50 died due to the infection.

Also read: Assam: Guwahati Jail turns COVID-19 hotspot, KMSS alleges after two anti-CAA agitators test positive

Inmate’s letter reveals COVID outbreak in jail

A letter by one of the jail inmates Dudul Das, while they were being shifted to hospital for COVID-19 treatment on July 13th, 2020, revealed how the deadly virus gripped the entire jail.

KMSS leader Mukut Deka who along with associates was present outside the jail to pick up Manash Konwar, who was about to get release that day, said, “As we were waiting for the formalities which required DC directive, we saw two buses coming to pick up people. All the people were tested with Corona and one of the inmates named Dudul Das threw this letter from the bus to which we immediately clicked a photo”.

As per the letter, the inmates have alleged that “more than 95% inside the jail are affected by a coronavirus in the jail in Assam and not all are tested. Nothing has been done to them for the last 40 hours after being tested. Neither treatment nor diet has been given. They have only been taken to the medical then and inside the jail, both positives and negatives are staying together where they are sleeping in 2 feet space. The jail authorities are trying hard to hide”. In the end, the letter said, “please save us we are also human beings”.

Also read: Assam: Prison inmates allege ‘more than 95% are COVID-19 positive’ in Guwahati Central Jail

Jail turns COVID-19 hotspot

The Guwahati Central Jail, Assam has turned to COVID-19 hotspot, KMSS joint secretary Mukut Deka believes. During a telephonic conversation with INSIDENE, Deka expressed resentment at the government for violating the Right to Health of the leaders as well as other jail inmates. “The Right to Health of all the inmates including Akhil Gogoi and other KMSS leaders have been violated by not giving any heed to the ailing health in time amid this coronavirus pandemic,” he added.

He further accused the jail authority of being failed to maintain transparency. “The Guwahati Central Jail is not safe anymore. It has turned to COVID-19 hotspot. As per the information, out of 10 samples, three were tested positive yesterday. So, it can be said that 30 percent are infected. Accordingly, if tests of 1200 inmates are done, then we are sure, around 500 will be found positive for the lethal virus.”

Meanwhile, in a video released on social media, Kamal Kumar Medhi, former longstanding deputy of Akhil Gogoi accused the government of taking a very casual approach to the deteriorating health of the jailed leaders. “The jail authority and the government did not give any importance to their ill health concern in jail despite the issue was raised repeatedly,” Medhi said.

Also read: Akhil Gogoi’s wife pens down emotional Facebook post after he develops COVID-19 symptoms

Swab collection drive at Kokrajhar jail

After the detection of the recent COVID-19 cases in Guwahati Central Jail, the Kokrajhar district administration, Assam, and the district jail authority conducted a swab collection drive for the jail inmates and the jail staff on July 16th, 2020.

The medical staffs from Kokrajhar Rup Nath Brahma civil hospital took swab samples of the jail inmates and district jail officials during the drive. However, no one was reported COVID-19 positive among the inmates till filling of this report.

There are a total of 326 inmates in the district jail. Swab of the inmates and the jail staff including jailor, and assistant jailor were collected.

Notably, 189 persons have been detected COVID-19 positive in the district till date, among them 29 are active and 160 persons have been recovered from the affected.


The COVID-19 outbreak in the jail has raised many questions on the part of the jail authority and the government. How could the COVID-19 grip the jail when no outsiders or family members of the inmates were allowed citing the prevailing situation? Weren’t there sufficient medical facilities provided to the inmates? Did the jail authority provide sufficient food to the inmates which is, as healthcare experts claim, necessary to boost immunity to fight the coronavirus?

Readers like you make Inside Northeast’s work possible.

To support our brand of fearless and investigative journalism, support us HERE.


The Inside Northeast app HERE for News, Views, and Reviews from Northeast India.

Do keep following us for news on-the-go. We deliver the Northeast.

Edited By: Admin
Published On: Jul 17, 2020