In a massive development on Tuesday, the Maharashtra government has decided to release 17,000 prisoners from jails across the state on temporary parole to contain the spread of COVID-19. This comes amid 185 Arthur Road Jail inmates testing positive for COVID-19. According to Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, 5000 undertrials, 3000 convicts sentenced up to 7 years in jail, and 9000 convicts who are serving more than a 7-year jail term shall benefit from this move. However, prisoners facing serious charges such as rape, bank fraud, economic offences, MCOCA, TADA, NPDS will not be released.
Anil Deshmukh remarked, "In Maharashtra's Arthur Road Jail, 185 inmates have contracted COVID-19. They are undergoing treatment. But to ensure that prisoners in other jails do not contract COVID-19, Maharashtra government has decided to give temporary parole to 17,000 prisoners- 5000 undertrials, 3000 convicts sentenced up to 7 years in jail and 9000 convicts who are serving more than a 7-year jail term. This does not include prisoners who face charges of rape, bank fraud, economic offences, MCOCA, TADA, NPDS. This will ensure that social distancing is observed in every jail of Maharashtra."
Currently, there are 23,401 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Maharashtra out of which 4,786 patients have recovered while 868 casualties have been reported. In the virtual meeting with PM Modi on Monday, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray requested the deployment of central police forces in the state to reduce the burden on the police. He also sought the RBI's intervention to ensure that the farmers in Vidarbha can get crop loans. Mentioning that many migrant workers were returning to their native places, he observed that it was the responsibility of state governments to take measures for preventing the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
If required, the Central Government must make its manpower available to reduce the burden on the police.— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) May 11, 2020
Making available hospitals and ICU beds in Central Government establishments like the Army and Mumbai Port Trusts etc will aid the battle against the Corona virus.