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SOPW can confirm the recent reports that a group of Sikh political prisoners as well as non sikhs lodged at Tihar high security jail in Delhi have been forced to begin an indefinite hunger strike due to the over zealous and totally unnecessary new security measures implemented by the Tihar jail authorities. 

We were informed some two weeks ago that the jail authorities were introducing a new scheme relating to the meetings of prisoners by their personal visitors.
The recent changes that have been implemented that have caused an inevitable and understandable uproar right across Tihar jail are as follows:

1. Prisoners were previously entitled to face to face meeting with their visitors through a bullet proof and transparent screen divide and communication was via a small microphone. Now ALL meeting will be held via video conferencing, this method means that each and every meeting and the entire conversation will be recorded.
We understand this will also be applied to the prisoners own spouses.
2. Prisoners were previously allowed two meeting with their friends and families. This has now been reduced to only one meeting per week.
3. Prisoners are only allowed regular visits by a limited number of thoroughly vetted persons, previously the number allowed were 10. Under the new procedures only five persons will be allowed to regularly meet the prisoners. Should a new person wish to visit, a prior application would need to be made and their entitlement given in place of another existing visitor.

We are working on establishing the reasoning behind this clearly unreasonable policy adopted by Tihar jail authorities and what their current position is now that so many inmates have taken to hunger protest in opposition.

Our immediate concern is for the health of the prisoners who have been forced to take such drastic actions as a result of what appears to be nothing more than a modern twist on the standard practise of mental torture that the Indian Government is notorious for inflicting especially against those who speak out against them.

We will bring you the latest development on this latest news as and when we are informed. 

© The Sikh Organisation for Prisoners Welfare 2020