DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand state government will release total of 855 prisoners from 11 jails of Uttarakhand to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection in overcrowded correctional facilities.
Madan Kaushik, state cabinet minister and spokesperson for the government said, "Total 855 prisoners will be released on parole. The duration of the parole will be for six months."
The decision comes after the Supreme Court on March 23, directed the state governments to constitute a high-powered committee of the chairman of the State Legal Services Committee, principal home secretary and director general of prisons.
The committee would be identifying the prisoners who can be released on parole or interim bail after considering the nature and severity of the offence, the number of years of imprisonment and other factors.
A recent RTI reply revealed that total of 3540 prisoners are lodged in 11 prisons in Uttarakhand against total capacity of all jails put together is 5748.
Out of the total, 2259 (39%) happen to be convicted and 3489 (61%) of them are undertrials.
In Dehradun jail, 1305 inmates are kept against the capacity of 580 while Haridwar jail has 1320 inmates against the capacity of 840. Roorkee sub-jail has 492 inmates against the capacity of 244. In Kumaon division, Nainital district jail has 144 inmates against the capacity of 71 and Almora district jail has 233 inmates against the capacity of 102. Haldwani has 1304 inmates against the capacity of 382.
At present total 11 jails are in the hill state across 13 districts of the state. In a serious discrepancy, six out of 13 districts are without district jail for undertrial and convicted inmates. Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Champawat, and Udham Singh Nagar districts do not have district jail. However, Sitarganj town of US Nagar district has an open jail and central jail.