These prisoners will be released on parole or interim bail, whichever is applicable, for two months. (Representational Image)
To check the spread of COVID-19 in jails, the Gujarat government has decided to release 1,200 convicts and undertrial prisoners on parole or on interim bail for two months. The decision follows an instruction by the Supreme Court on the same.
Announcing this, Ashwani Kumar, Secretary to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, said, "The Supreme Court has given instructions to state governments to take all preventive steps with a view to check spread of COVID-19 in jails due to overcrowding... Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has asked the Home Department to immediately prepare a list of convicts and undertrial prisoners who can be released on parole or interim bail."
These prisoners will be released on parole or interim bail, whichever is applicable, for two months. The CM has decided that such prisoners will be released for two months so that the crowd in jails can be brought down… As per an estimation, around 1,200 prisoners will be benefited, added Kumar.
Kumar said that before releasing the prisoners on parole or interim bail, their health check-up will be done and only those who are healthy will be allowed to go. Necessary arrangements are being made by the administration of jails in the state and currently health check-up of prisoners is on.
"Those (prisoners) having health conditions like flu, fever, cough etc., are being kept in isolation," Kumar said.
Rs 25 crore donation
In the past three days, the Chief Minister's Relief Fund has received over Rs 25 crore from various social, educational, industrial and religious groups, apart from a few individuals. Ashwani Kumar said that this amount will be spent to fight COVID-19.