Freedom for jail inmates - 102 prisoners to walk free after two decades

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  • Published 13.09.12

Patna, Sept. 12: The 20-year wait of Jagdish Nonia to meet family members outside the bars of Buxar Central Jail is all set to be over next week. Rambaran Ram, too, is elated after finding his name in the list of prisoners selected for early release.

Like Jagdish and Rambaran, 100 others inmates of several jails across the state are eagerly waiting to start a new life after decades following the recommendation of the Bihar Dandadhesh Parihar Parshad.

Rambaran has been languishing in jail for 19 long years after killing a person in his native village in Buxar district. His fate is now all set to change with the decision of the home department.

The parshad, at its meeting chaired by home department principal secretary Amir Subhani on Tuesday evening, cleared the names 102 convicted prisoners for their early release.

Most of the prisoners are murder convicts serving life term far from witnessing the social changes all these years. One of the main reasons behind releasing such prisoners is the change in their behavioural pattern. Over the years even a hardened criminal can undergo a sea change in behaviour, psychologists have found.

This is the second occasion in the recent past when such a large number of prisoners have been found to be eligible for their early release. “Most of the prisoners have almost spent 20 years in jail and served 14 years of imprisonment in real term,” said inspector-general (prisons) Anand Kishore.

The official data available with the prison department revealed that 99 inmates were released after their names were recommended by the parshad at its meeting on October 24, 2011.

The January 23 meeting had recommended the release of 118 convicted prisoners and 48 prisoners were freed after the Parshad members met on April 25. Sources said over 1,000 prisoners were languishing in different state jails even after completing their sentence of 14 years. The list of such prisoners was sought from the jail superintendents.

Earlier, the government had adopted the practice to release such prisoners with good conduct only on Independence Day and Republic Day. “But the practice has been changed under the present dispensation. The meeting of parihar parshad is being held on scheduled dates,” a senior home department officer said.

The tradition has been done away with not just to accommodate more prisoners on the freedom list but to ensure a periodic release of the convicted inmates who have already spent a better part of their prime behind the bars.

Besides the home department principal secretary, Tuesday’s meeting was also attended by the law department secretary, inspector-general (prisons) and director of probation services.

Such exercises at regular intervals have also helped prison officials manage affairs as most of the jails have inmates exceeding their capacity.

(The prisoners’ names are changed on request of officers)