THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Unlike many women of her age, 83-year-old Annathai, though bedridden, is more than happy to have two loving caretakers who tend to her with daughterly affection at the Women’s Jail at Attakulangara. They would give her the morning shower, feed her favourite foods and would take her on a wheelchair tour along the jail courtyard in the evenings. Occasionally, they would take her to the nearby Muruka temple.
But Annathai’s routine for the past two years is set for a change. She is one among the six inmates of the Women’s Jail who have been recommended for a premature release in the wake of the Covid-19 spread. If the Prisons Department’s proposal is cleared by the High Court, she can leave in a couple of days.
Hailing from Marayoor in Idukki, Annathai was convicted in a case registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act two years ago. The police report said she was involved in the ganja trade for long. She was awarded a three-year jail and a fine of Rs 1 lakh. She will have to spend another year if the fine is not paid.
The five other women are convicted for various charges such as murder, theft and abkari cases. Annathai was happy when she was told about the possibility of an early release, said Sophia Beevi, jail superintendent. “She is excited to meet her friends and relatives in her village,”
Beevi said.“Her husband had died long back and the couple do not have children. Her brother is willing to take her to his home,” Beevi says. Annathai suffers from age-related ailments, including diabetes, BP and orthopaedic problems, which confined her to bed.
The jail officers are taking special care of Annathai considering her ill health. Nutritious food and medicines are given to Annathai and other senior citizens, according to the superintendent. Like all other prisons in the state, the Women’s Jail at Attakulangara is taking precautions against Covid-19. Sanitisation and wearing masks are mandatory for the staff and prisoners. Social distancing is strictly maintained.