Offering them a fresh start in life following their good behaviour in jail, 92 prisoners lodged at various prisons across Karnataka were brought to the Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara in Bengaluru and set free on Wednesday.

The prisoners were issued release letters by Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy. “In a fit of rage people commit crimes and lament their whole life in jail for that mistake. But once they regret and reform they need not be kept in the prison. Karnataka is the only state in the country to prematurely release prisoners for their good character. From 2015 we have released 1,255 prisoners prematurely,” said the Home Minister speaking about the release to Deccan Chronicle.

The list of prisoners released included 31 people from Bengaluru , 16 from Mysuru, 9 from Belagavi, 14 from Kalaburgi, 9 from Vijayapura, 6 from Ballari and 7 from Dharwad. 90 of the 92 prisoners released were convicted for murder while two were being held for kidnap.

Many prisoners who finally walked out of the Central Jail were delighted to see family members waiting outside for them. Veeranna, who suffes from schizophrenia, walked out of the prisoner and met his younger brother Ajay who was eagerly waiting for him to celebrate his fresh start. “We have gone through so much in life without my brother being around. I am glad he is coming home now,” said Ajay speaking to The Hindu.

Veeranna had served 13 years in prison after he committed a murder in a ‘fit of rage’. The brothers now plan to cultivate a small plot of land they own in Davangere.

Like Veeranna, it was a new lease of life for 91 other prisoners who were released for their good behaviour and for the time spent in prisons.

While the pardon was officially set to take place on Republic Day, procedural delays meant that it only happened on Wednesday