SUCH was the fury of the inmates at Machh jail in Balochistan at the absence of basic facilities and ruthlessness of the jail officials that they set on fire a carpet factory. And it was only after Provincial Minister Sultan Tareen's personal assurance to the prisoners that they would be taken care of that the matter was resolved. The inmates' grievances against overcrowding, and torture by the jail authorities are genuine and should be addressed without further ado. They have nonetheless warned that they would resume their protest if their demands are not met. Just the other day, there was a report highlighting the lack of health facilities in the jail and that a large number of inmates were suffering from hepatitis. By and large, the state of the Machh jail, which is a violation of fundamental rights of the inmates resembles prisons across the country. Little work has been done to ensure provision of facilities like lavatories, electric fans, clean drinking water and hygienic food. Likewise, overcrowding has come up as a big problem. Usually, prisoners are locked up in a cell as if they were animals. It is a pity that the government despite calls by various sections of society has not built new jails. Worse still, it is not uncommon for the wardens to resort to atrocious practices like torture and harassment of the inmates. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who was on an inspection tour of jails across the country was so shocked by the conditions that he took suo moto notice of the state of prisons. Concurrently, it is obligatory upon the government to see to it that the rights of the prisoners are secured.