Covid-19: Process to free 8,000 prisoners from MP jails begins

Covid-19: Process to free 8,000 prisoners from MP jails begins

The process to release nearly 8,000 prisoners began in Madhya Pradesh on Monday with an aim to prevent overcrowding in jails amid the coronavirus crisis, a senior official said.

Out of these 8,000 prisoners, 5,000 will be released on parole for 60 days while 3,000 prisoners, who were being tried for cases where the maximum sentence is less than five years, will be released on interim bail for 45 days, state Director General of Prisons Sanjay Choudhary told PTI.

He said the move was aimed at decongesting jails in view of the virus outbreak.

Prisoners across the state were being released by following the due procedures, including social distancing and keeping in view the curfew imposed in some districts and the nationwide lockdown.

The Supreme Court had earlier directed all the states and union territories to set up committees to consider releasing jail inmates on parole or interim bail in cases where the maximum punishment is seven years.

There are 125 jails in the state with a capacity to keep 28,601 prisoners, but they are overcrowded with over 42,000 inmates.

So far, 47 COVID-19 cases and four deaths due to the viral infection have been reported from the state.