File photo: Representational
Jails in Jharkhand are packed with prisoners. Many of them were politicians turned convicts including ex-Independent MLA Raja Peter and RJD chief and ex-CM Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Unlike Peter and Yadav who have no permission to breathe air of freedom, many prisoners are going to step out of its high walls reducing the number of jail mates in the state on the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
The move was an outcome of the decision of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 19, approving guidelines for granting special remission to certain categories of prisoners, including women, transgenders and differently abled, to mark the 150th birth of father of the nation.
Already, the BJP ruled state, guided by the Union Cabinet's nod to prisoners amnesty, has decided to release as many as 221 prisoners on October 2.
The decision was part of a resolution taken earlier by Punishment Review Committee headed by Chief Minister Raghubar Das.
The committee took note of 137 cases. Among them five cases were rejected and three cases of life- term serving prisoners were kept pending .Socially, among those prisoners to be freed, 65 belong to Scheduled Tribes.In all, 13 are above 60 years old and two are women.
The aim behind the move was committee members' belief that crime was influenced by circumstances.If some of the convicts realise that they were guilty and had spent long terms inside jail,they ought to be released,feels the CM Raghubar Das."This is what prompted us to free them",says Das.
Earlier,the committee had studied and decided to release 221 prisoners.None of them were convicts of non heinous crimes.