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Govt plans to release 3,000 prisoners temporarily

Jail guards and prisoners at coronavirus risk

Published : 01 Apr 2020 10:23 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 01:02 AM

The government is planning to release 3,000 of the prisoners temporarily from different jails in the country. This plan is a part of various cautionary measures in jail due to outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in the country. However, no convicted persons will be able to enjoy this opportunity, said sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Talking to Bangladesh Post on Wednesday, Jailer of the Dhaka Central Jail, Mahbubul Islam, said the Directorate of Prisons has already prepared a list of 3,000 prisoners and sent the list to the home ministry for necessary steps. According to sources, considering the prevailing crucial situation due to the coronavirus outbreak, those 3,000 prisoners will be released from the jails after the approval by the home ministry.

He said, “Government has taken the decision to keep the jails secured.” Additional Inspector General of Prison Directorate Colonel Md Abrar Hossain said, “Due to the possible outbreak of the corona virus, we have sent our proposal as per instructions from the home ministry.”

According to him, a list of 3,000 prisoners, who are currently in various jails in connection with petty crimes and are accused in bail-able cases, has been sent for release. “After getting approval from the home ministry, the proposal will be sent to the ministry of law for getting their note of decent (NOD)”, he said and continued as saying, “If the law ministry is also agreed with the proposal, this list will be sent to the courts concerned.”

Responding to a question, the second in command of the Prison Directorate said, “The court will actually take the final decision in this regard.” Currently more than 90,000 prisoners are staying in various prisons. The number is at least three times more than the capacity to accommodate in the jails.

Health experts warned that prisoners are at serious risk of coronavirus as they are living in very unhygienic and over crowed environment.
There are only five thermal scanners in 68 prisons to check around 90,000 prisoners. However, measuring body temperature to detect coronavirus infection is a must. Till now, prison guards are not provided with the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).