A total of 22 prisoners released from various jails of Madhya Pradesh on parole in order to keep them safe have disappeared, MP govt replied to HC on Tuesday.
The state government presented a status report before the Jabalpur principal bench of MP High Court on Tuesday. The HC had earlier taken suo motu cognizance on the status of inmates in various jails of the state which are overcrowded.
In the report submitted to the HC, the jail officers claimed that out of the total prisoners released after the first wave of the Covid-19, 1536 are still out and 22 are at large. A total of 13 prisoners have died in various jails in the state owing to different reasons, the report said.
The court had in the past presented various suggestions to the MP government for decongesting jails such as releasing prisoners on parole who are sentenced to less than seven years of jail.
The Jail department in the report said that prisoners in large numbers were released on parole amid the Covid-19 outbreak but the police had to send around 8,000 inmates back to their jails in the last 38 days as law and order were deteriorating significantly.
As against the installed capacity of 28,000, the MP jails by May 2021 had around 45,000 prisoners. By June first week, the state government has claimed of vaccinating around 18,000 inmates.
In March last year, parole was granted to prisoners in MP after the Supreme Court of India had instructed states to decongest jails as part of efforts to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
(Inputs Pratik Mohan Awasthi)