As the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, Tihar Jail officials on Saturday, March 28, announced that about 356 prisoners were released on 45-day interim bail while 63 have been released on emergency parole of eight weeks, as a preventive measure against the spread of deadly COVID-19. Earlier, the Tihar Jail administration had announced that it will release as many as 3000 prisoners to decongest the prisons during the pandemic to control its spread.
The Supreme Court had asked all state governments on March 23 to release undertrial prisoners, who are facing charges attracting less than seven years imprisonment, to reduce overcrowding of jails amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Following the directive, Uttar Pradesh has decided to release 11,000 prisoners from the in-state jails on parole. The inmates of 71 prisons, who have served less than seven years, are being released on parole for eight weeks.
Earlier on Friday, the Maharashtra government decided to release about 11,000 prisoners on emergency parole while the Punjab government also announced the release of 6,000 prisoners on parole.
India has witnessed a swell in coronavirus cases as the number of infected individuals surged to 909 with 19 deaths as on Saturday, March 28, while 79 cases have recovered and been discharged according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Maharashtra has reported the highest number of infected cases with 180 people testing positive for COVID-19.
Due to Indian government's timely intervention and introduction of preventive measures such as the nationwide lockdown, the country's casualty figures and infected cases are much less as compared to other countries, despite being the second-most populous country in the world and more prone to the spread of the pandemic; though the next three weeks are considered to be critical for India. While the developed countries' death toll runs in thousands, India has reported a meager 19 deaths as on date.
(Image source - PTI)