The parole of aged prisoners of jails in Kerala have been extended by one more month, following the spike in COVID-19 cases in recent months. The governmentâ€™s home department said in a recent order that the ongoing parole of prisoners who are aged 65 or above have been extended in light of the pandemic.
As the coronavirus infection is yet to be contained completely, the ongoing parole of prisoners aged 65 years and above and belonging to all categories, is extended to one more month since their actual date of return, the order said.
It also directed the jail heads to readmit the prisoners belonging to other age groups as per the prescribed time frame mentioned in the government order concerned issued earlier, it said.
In a bid to prevent the spread of COVID 19 in prisons, the Kerala government had granted special parole and remission to prisoners belonging to different categories in recent months.
However, the aged prisoners, punished for severe crimes, including sexual assaults against children and human trafficking and those detained under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, were excluded from grant of parole and remission.
The Kerala High Court had in the end of March granted parole to under trial and remand prisoners serving sentences below seven years, to reduce crowding in jails during the pandemic.
Over 6,000 prisoners are lodged in a total of 54 jails, including three central jails in Kerala.
The central prison in Thiruvananthapuram had in the month of August witnessed a spread of the disease among the inmates and staff - with 480 people infected with the disease. The Kerala Human Rights Commission had then asked authorities to ensure proper quarantine facilities to all prisoners.
By mid-September however, the prison had become free of COVID-19.
(With PTI input)