New Delhi: Keeping in mind the rising cases of coronavirus in states, the state government of Assam and Gujarat on Sunday released thousands of prisoners to decongest jails. Also Read - Coronavirus: Maharashtra to Release Around 50% Prisoners to Decongest Jails Across State
On Sunday, the Assam government released over 3,550 inmates to decongest its jails. Of the total released prisoners, around 1,700 prisoners were released following a Supreme Court ruling in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19, while others were released as per the normal legal procedure. Also Read - Art in Times of Corona: UP Prisoner Paints Walls of Pilibhit Jail With Graffiti to Spread Awareness About COVID-19 Safety Measures
Assam Inspector General of Prisons Dasarath Das said that the state’s 31 jails currently house 8,510 inmates against the sanctioned capacity of 8,938. Also Read - Coronavirus: Sri Lanka to Grant Bail to 8,000 Remand Prisoners
“We have released a total of 3,577 inmates so far from different jails across the state since the coronavirus crisis emerged in March. This includes 3,161 undertrials, who were released on bail and personal bonds,” he said.
As per updates, more than 100 convicts were allowed to go home on annual leave, while 15 more were released on parole.
“With only 8,510 inmates, we are at a comfortable level now and implementing social distancing norms inside jails. Though we have released a huge number of prisoners, new inmates are coming in regularly. That is why the total number is not going down drastically,” he added further.
The state of Assam, at present, has six central jails, 22 district jails, one open-air jail, one special jail and one sub-jail. Besides, there are six detention camps to lodge suspected and declared foreigners.
The development comes after the apex court on March 23 directed all states and Union Territories to constitute high-level committees to consider releasing on parole or interim bail prisoners and undertrials to decongest prisons in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, the Gujarat government has released nearly 2,500 prisoners from 28 jails across the state since the coronavirus outbreak.
The state government said that the prisoners have been released on parole, interim bail and furlough to decongest the overcrowded jails and contain the spread of coronavirus among the inmates.