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It reminds of the situation during JPBB's rule (1972-74)when he set a lot of prisoners free to make room for dalals and JSD people in the jail.

Edit Date:8/17/2010 12:00:00 AM


Govt to free 1,000 prisoners 
to ease pressure on jails 

Mustafizur Rahman and FM Masum

In a bid ease pressure on the overcrowded jails, the government is expected to release by this week 1,000 prisoners who have already served over 20 years of prison terms.
   The home affairs ministry on Tuesday ordered the jail authorities to take steps immediately to release the prisoners as per the jail code, said officials.
   ‘We are expecting a home ministry order on Wednesday. Measures will be taken in a day or two to release the prisoners under some specific categories,’ inspector general of prisons brigadier general Md Ashraful Islam Khan told New Age on Tuesday.
   He said that the jail authorities had earlier prepared a list of 1,000 prisoners after a thorough scrutiny and sent it to the home ministry for approval.
   ‘The home affairs ministry has prepared an official order for release of 1,000 prisoners who have already served 20 years in jail and are now well-mannered…The jail authorities are supposed to serve the order tomorrow,’ home ministry’s additional secretary Iqbal Khan Chowdhury said on Tuesday.
   The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, at a meeting with the jail authorities in May, 2010 ordered release of 1,000 prisoners under five categories.
   She asked the authorities concerned to properly make a list of 1,000 prisoners who were aged, women, disabled, children and seriously ill.
   Over 77,000 prisoners are crammed in the country’s 67 jails across the country against a capacity of 28,000, according to official records.
   Some prisoners who have been in jail for petty crimes like theft and pickpocketing, would also be released to make room for a growing number of prisoners.
   The IG prisons said that the government had taken the initiative following due process of law, to ease the pressure on jails.
   He, however, said the government would not release the prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment and identified as notorious criminals in police lists, even if they have served 20 years in jail.
   ‘Jails across the country now house prisoners three times their accommodation capacity,’ Ashraful Islam said.
   The Dhaka Central Jail has the registered capacity of putting up 2,682 prisoners. But there are some 10,352 prisoners in the jail at the moment, which is nearly four times than its capacity, said officials.
   Some 548 women prisoners along with 82 children under six years have been detained in the women’s ward of the Dhaka Central Jail, although its registered capacity is 134. The women’s ward house inmates six times its capacity.


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