BANGALORE: For 13 years now, Vedavati has been playing the roles of a homemaker, mother and breadwinner. She wants to ask Governor H R Bhardwaj just one question “How long can I sustain with all three roles?” Vedavati is waiting for the Republic Day with great hopes to reunite with her husband, who has been a prisoner for the last 13 years.
She was joined by close to fifty family members of prisoners and activists of Saheli, a non-governmental organisation, to press for the release of prisoners who have completed more than eight years of their sentence.
A peaceful march was held by the participants to submit a memorandum to the Governor, CM D V Sadananda Gowda and prison minister A Narayana Swamy, urging them to release these prisoners on grounds of good conduct on Republic Day.
“There are many, including women and aged persons, who have been imprisoned for years now. I know this because I have seen them when I was imprisoned for three days. The Governor has to show mercy,” said Pushpamala, a participant.
Pramod Mutalik, chief of Sri Ram Sene, spoke strongly on the occasion to elicit the Governor’s attention to such issues. “Many prisoners are suffering for one single mistake. They have reformed, whereas the real criminals are walking free. The families of these prisoners are waiting with sanguine expectations,” said Mutalik.
He added, “The last list for pardon sent to the Governor by the state was rejected. It is unfortunate that 10 of them died. If the Governor had shown mercy, the deceased could have been with their family.”