Guwahati Central Jail
Guwahati Central Jail. Courtesy: NE Samachar

More than 3,160 prisoners, including inmates lodged in detention centres, have been released from jails across Assam since March this year.

The jail inmates have been released on various grounds, including decongesting the prisons in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Inspector General of Prisons, Assam, Dasaratha Das said majority of the prisoners were released for a specific period following a Supreme Court order in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, while others were freed as per normal legal procedures and other reasons.

Das said that in Assam’s 31 jails, including six central jails, at present there are over 8,500 inmates against the sanctioned capacity of 8,938.

The Supreme Court in March, had directed all High Courts, states and Union Territories to constitute high-level committees to consider releasing prisoners and under trials jailbirds with minor crimes on parole or interim bail.

The Gauhati High Court last month had also asked the Border Wing of the Assam Police to release on bail the “declared foreigners” to comply with the Supreme Court’s order on who have completed two years in detention camps.

In pursuance to the Supreme Court’s order, different state governments of Northeast have taken several steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus in jails.

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