Reality Check India

1405 life prisoners to be released in Tamilnadu

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on September 14, 2008

Remember the media coverage of Afzal Guru. Remember the socialites who were on TV yelling against the death penalty. This news from Tamilnadu is sure to send them sulking into characteristic hibernation.

The ruling party’s founder Mr C.N.Annathurai’s 100th birthday celebrations are being kicked off in the state. As part of the celebrations, 1405 prisoners serving life terms (I assume mostly murder) are being released. Can we call them hardcore criminals ? I think so. They may want to pick roses for a living but they are hardcore enough to have been awarded a life term. Families have been destroyed by their actions. Wives lost husbands, kids lost fathers.

The two categories are :

1. All those serving life terms who have completed 7 years (subject to some checks like good behaviour)

2. All those over 60 are free if they have served five years

Remember, a life term is usually awarded for murder.

The idea is that these prisoners should not be neglected by the society and stigmatised for their past forever. Our Correctional Wing along with NGOs and Prison Ministry of India is working out various ways to resettle them in the society,” said DGP R Nataraj, who initiated the programme.

Forever. What a nice word ? Does ‘rest of your life‘ mean the same thing, or are we misreading it ? Kids have lost their dads forever, haven’t they ? What about them ?

While many have expressed a desire to own a taxi or an autorickshaw, a few have asked for sewing machines and fishing nets. One man wanted to open a flower shop. “For such cases we are trying to arrange bank loans to help them start their own small-scale units,” said Nataraj. The sewing machines and fishing nets will be given on the day of their release.

So, people who commit heinous crimes like murder will be given bank loans for taxis and autos. Is this facility available to non-criminals as well ?

V Kannadasan, Special Public Prosecutor for Human Rights said, “Human Rights concepts are growing everywhere and these prisoners also have a right to life, which if denied, will lead them back to crimes. So this opportunity to reform must be given to them.”

All quotes from expressbuzz

Human Rights Sir, I have a stupid question. How can it “lead them back to crimes” if they are in jail ?

This is a slap on the faces of the victims families. Their consent has clearly NOT been obtained.

This is moment of shame for the media because no TV channel will discuss this.

Another moment of humiliation for the judicial system.

There is a case against it by in the Supreme Court by the relentless Subramanian Swamy. The Supreme Court had earlier stayed the released of 1500 hardcore criminals by the YS Reddy government.

But AP is AP, TN is TN, Bengal is Bengal, Kerala is Kerala.
Until then, no one in India has the right to talk about Afzal Guru.

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14 Responses

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  1. Confused said, on September 14, 2008 at 5:12 am

    RC,

    I am curious. Why are these governments so ready to release hardcore criminals? Is early release a box of sweets to be distributed at birthday parties?

  2. Vinod Sharma said, on September 14, 2008 at 5:15 am

    You have raised very pertinent and disturbing questions. But who cares?

    How can any political party be allowed to make a mockery of law like this? What has the birth centenary of a political leader got to do with release of murderers and the like? This is blatant political pandering with no regard to the rights and feelings of the victims and their families.

    Such ‘dramas’ should be banned. Clear conditions should be laid for release of convicts and mass releases should never be allowed. I hope the Supreme Court intervenes in time.

  3. Barbarindian said, on September 14, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Ram Guha would call this “fixing institutions one by one”. The Government has succeeded in fixing the judiciary. Notice that the judiciary came into full focus only after the OBC reservation issue seemed to get stuck at the SC. Since then there have been a fortuitous series of events – starting from a demand by the political class to subject judges to scrutiny to corruption charges against judges. One wonders why such activism had never taken place in the preceding six decades. Now the PM has called for changing the way judges are appointed.

    The ultimate – i.e. caste and religious quotas in the judiciary will seal the deal and mark the end of this era of the “Indian experiment” with nation building – or should we say secular socialist adult kids playing house.

  4. realitycheck said, on September 14, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Rohit,

    Privately – the real reason for their release is that there are a whole bunch of political-henchmen-murderers in jail. The nexus between them and the political class is tight. As an example, when a revenue officer is killed by the sand-mafia, it is one of these henchmen that goes to jail on a lifer. It is the duty of the politician-sand-mafia to rescue him and return him to his fold. This is not fiction. This applies to liquor, granite quarry, land rights, problems with payments – you name it.

    Periodically, the jails must be purged and these elements returned to the ecosystem. They are needed to nourish our version of democracy.

  5. Anony said, on September 15, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    I believe that not all of these guys are actually life termers. Others are also released.
    As usual the media has hyped the issue
    Releasing Prisoners during such days is not uncommon

  6. Anony said, on September 15, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    //This is a slap on the faces of the victims families. Their consent has clearly NOT been obtained. //

    What do you mean

    To punish some one, do you need the consent of the victim
    Or
    To not punish some one, do you need the consent of the victim

  7. Anony said, on September 15, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Question : What about the victims of those gujarat violence . Why is Narendra Modi not arrested.

    Why Subramaniam swamy does not care about those poor victims of gujarat

    If Narendra Modi and his henchmen are still scot free, that is greater threat to nation

    -

  8. Anony said, on September 15, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Legal system in Tamil Nadu is really bad – they have not punished those who murdered Sankarraman

  9. Anony said, on September 15, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    //starting from a demand by the political class to subject judges to scrutiny to corruption charges against judges.//
    If they are really not corrupt, why should they be worried :) :)

  10. Barbarindian said, on September 15, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    I believe that not all of these guys are actually life termers.

    Nope, All the 1405 are lifers.

  11. Anony said, on September 16, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    //Nope, All the 1405 are lifers.//

    That it is really bad. Legal system in Tamil Nadu is really bad – they have not punished those who murdered Sankarraman even after 4 years

  12. reason said, on September 17, 2008 at 6:13 am

    // they have not punished those who murdered Sankarraman even after 4 years //

    they have not really found those who killed sankarraman even after four years. they tried to fix it on some one else with the full might of the state police and state machinery, and that did not work at the supreme court. then they started talking bad things about judges, including abusing their caste.

    on a related note, their full might was not enough to secure the release of a naxalite conduit binayak sen at the supreme court. And they again started talking bad things about the judge in question, and issued plainly libellous statements.

    and apparently there is a genocide in Mangalore. surprising you are not barking about that yet.

  13. Anony said, on September 24, 2008 at 2:35 am

    Questions for the Data Nazi RC to check reality

    Was Godse, (the murderer of Gandhi) life sentence reduced
    Were life termers in TN Jails released on 3 occasions during jaya’s rule in 2001 to 2006

  14. realitycheck said, on September 25, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Anany,

    SInce you are persisting.

    >> Was Godse, (the murderer of Gandhi) life sentence reduced

    How does it matter ? He was hanged. I do not think his sentence was commuted even though the Nehrus and Gandhis family wanted it to be.

    >> Were life termers in TN Jails released on 3 occasions during jaya’s rule in 2001 to 2006

    If it makes you feel good. I think JJ is worse the Karunanidhi in many respects. Karunanidhi is at least predictable and approachable. JJ is clever, unpredictable and ruthless.

    I would not vote for either of them, but that is another story.


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