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Convict refuses parole, says jail safer than outside in pandemic

Following directives from the state government, 43 convicted prisoners lodged at Meerut jail were shortlisted for being released on special eight-week parole. Except for Ashish Kumar, all other 42 accepted the parole and were released from jail.

Written by Amit Sharma | Meerut |
Updated: May 31, 2021 3:08:42 am
The state told HC said that of the 33,832 prisoners across state, 4,359 were vaccinated after May 12 and 2,208 prisoners earlier. Also, while 3,598 jail staffers had been vaccinated after May 12, 3,217 were immunised before that.

Ashish Kumar, who is serving a six-year prison term in Meerut jail, has refused to be released on special parole, saying that he felt safer in barracks instead of going out amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We had sent his request to the government for the approval. We have received the nod, which means that Ashish Kumar will remain in the jail till he completes his sentence,” Senior Superintendent of Meerut jail BP Pandey told The Indian Express.

Following directives from the state government, 43 convicted prisoners lodged at Meerut jail were shortlisted for being released on special eight-week parole. Except for Ashish Kumar, all other 42 accepted the parole and were released from jail.

Ashish was arrested from Ghaziabad in 2015 for driving his wife to commit suicide. He worked as a teacher.

“Besides the 42 convicted prisoners, 326 undertrials have also been released from Meerut prison on interim bail to decongest the barracks in view of the pandemic,” said Pandey.

According to a PTI report, 21 inmates in nine prisons of UP have written to authorities saying they don’t want parole as staying incarcerated is “safer and healthier” for them during the Covid pandemic.

The inmates who have made such a request are lodged in jails of Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Meerut, Maharajganj, Gorakhpur and Lucknow, Director General of Jail Administration Anand Kumar said on Sunday.

The reason is that if they get parole of 90 days, then this will get added to the punishment term, he said.

Parole is a temporary suspension of the sentence.

“The other overriding reason which they give is that if they go out, they will not get food and other health care facilities, which they get in the jails. The inmates say health check-up is done regularly in the jails. They get food on time, they are safe and healthy in the jails. The inmates say that once they go out of the jail, they will have to struggle to make a livelihood,” Kumar said.

There are four such requests from Lucknow jail, three from Ghaziabad and two from Maharajganj jail.

Taking note of an “unprecedented surge” in Covid-19 cases in the country, the Supreme Court on May 8 passed directions for decongestion of prisons and ordered forthwith release of all those prisoners who were granted bail or parole last year in view of the pandemic.

While a total of 2,256 prisoners were released by the Uttar Pradesh government on special parole last year during the first wave of the pandemic, this year the state government has also decided to release 2,456 prisoners.

With inputs from PTI

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