Govt mulls over release of aged convicts on parole
Even as the prison department is taking internal measures to control COVID outbreak inside the jails, officials are now thinking about releasing hundreds of ageing and ailing convicts on long parole from different jails as a step to break the chain.
Officials at each Central prison has been asked to prepare a list of 50 convicts, who could be released on parole in case the government allows COVID parole. If the government allows the release, around 500 convicts may be allowed to go. “Decision is to be taken by the government and it is not our prerogative,” a jail official noted.
These convicts should not be involved in any heinous crimes and should have spent at least seven years in jail to be considered for the parole, sources added.
Meanwhile, around 30 quarantined prisoners requested permission to move around in convict prison complex in Puzhal on Wednesday and the demand was declined by prison authorities. Following this, the prisoners began a hunger strike. After the officials intervened and explained the possibility of COVID spread, the issue was resolved. However, a team of jail staff, led by an official, visited them in the block around midnight “to make sure that they do not make such demands again”. The alleged excess by prison officials came to light when a lawyer started posting messages on WhatsApp groups highlighting the condition of more than a dozen convicts who faced retaliation from jail officials. However, a senior jail official denied the incident.
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