BENGALURU: One of the most loved prisoners at the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison, Veeranna, was bid an emotional farewell by the prison staff here on Wednesday. Veeranna reciprocated the feelings and thanked the prison officials with folded arms, even as tears rolled down his face. Touching scenes could also be witnessed outside the prison after Veeranna walked out and was received by his brother Ajay’s family. What made Veeranna’s case special was the fact that he is a patient of Schizophrenia.
Veeranna was an inmate of Ballari prison since 2003 and was convicted for committing a murder in a fit of rage, said Ranganath P, Superintendent of Police, Ballari Central Prison. “He required extra care in the prison and was taken to Nimhans once in two months. He would suddenly break down and cry or show strange behaviour,” he added.
Ranganath said Veeranna had been accorded some freedom in the prison. He would often follow the prison staff around, and was cared for by even the other prisoners. As Veeranna was leaving, he saluted Ranganath, following which the Superintendent waved back with a smile on his face. To help Veeranna earn a living now, Ajay said he would set up a small provision store at their native town of Davangere.
A total of 92 prisoners from prisons across Karnataka were set free prematurely from Parappanna Agrahara on Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy’s directives. Reddy, speaking to the prisoners at the event, said, “People commit crimes in moments of anger, and then regret the act in jail for the rest of their lives. However, once a person is reformed, there is no need for him to be kept locked up.”
Prisoners at Parappanna Agrahara can now make up to 100 minutes of calls per month to their family, friends or advocates as three phone kiosks were installed on the campus. Biometrics will be used to regulate the calls, said M Somashekar, Chief Superintendent of Police (Prisons). Each inmate, whether undertrial or convict, can make calls for up to nine minutes in a day.