THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said that there was absolutely no discrimination on any ground while releasing prisoners who had completed fixed terms in prison and added that such accusations were intended to generate controversy.
He was speaking to the media after his first visit to the Poojapura Central Jail after assuming the Home Minister’s post.
“There is no such case of discrimination. The application is granted on the basis of the health of the inmate, time spent in the prison and his conduct,” he said. But he agreed to the comment that advisory boards, while considering the pleas of the prisoners, often take a ‘tough’ stand against them.
“Some of them remain strict while others are lenient while considering the plea,” he said.
When asked why he neglected the Italian Marines who were standing outside their cells during his visit to the prison, Thiruvanchoor said that a minister should not visit people who are to be prosecuted by the government.
Apparently referring to the recent developments in the case related to the Marines,he said that compromise would not do any good and the criminal cases should be tried under the Criminal Procedure Code.
The Minister expressed satisfaction over the facilities being provided to the inmates and said that implementing innovative ideas such as large scale preparation and sales of chapathi and chicken curry from the prison could help the prisoners overcome the psychological block partially induced by separation from the society.
The Minister spent more than an hour with the inmates. Flanked by Home Secretary Sajan Peter and Jail ADGP Alexander Jacob, Thiruvanchoor visited various blocks and obtained first hand information on the prison facilities.
He also took note of the CCTV and video conferencing facilities installed in the prison. On learning about the Minister’s visit, the inmates assembled to pour out their grievances.
Most of the complainants were inmates who had spent more than 20 years in the prison. They told the Minister that the advisory board, which looks into the release plea of the inmates sentenced for life, was taking a tough stand on their applications.
The Minister accepted their petitions and said that their cases would be duly considered.