PUDUCHERRY, June 24 — NGOs from Puducherry and Tamil Nadu are fighting together for the premature release of prisoners in the UT. Puducherry-based Federation for People’s Rights and People’s Union for Human Rights from Chennai have been requesting the Puducherry government to release the life convicts who have completed seven years of prison term in view of the Tamil conference at Coimbatore, for which the TN government had announced that 500 life convicts would be released prematurely.
“A GO was issued in 1999 and another in 2003 by the National Human Rights Commission to the State Chief Secretaries of every state giving guidelines guidelines, to release a life-convict, who has completed seven years, or a prisoner who is aged 65 and has completed seven years of his prison term. Based on this, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala have released several prisoners,” said A Marx, head of the Puducherry chapter of People’s Union for Human Rights. He listed that in Tamil Nadu, 472 prisoners were released in 2006 and 190 prisoners in 2007 (life convicts, who have completed 10 years in prison), 1409 prisoners in 2008 and 10 in 2009 (for completing seven years of prison term).
G Sugumaran, Federation for People’s Rights, explained that in Puducherry so far 11 prisoners were released. This includes the pre-mature release of 11 prisoners who have completed 14 years. Later, another life convict who had put in the same number of years was also released.
“Puducherry Central Prison has about 78 life convicts, out of which 43 prisoners have completed seven years. We are only demanding that the prisoners be released as per the guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission, which would consider their conduct and release them accordingly. Also, according to the report filed by the then IG Shyam Sundar, of the 1409 prisoners released in 2008 in Tamil Nadu, only seven have been jailed again and that too for petty offences,” he said.
The New Indian express / 24.06.2010