Nagpur: An inmate of Nagpur Central Prison who was convicted of rape got a chance of walking out of prison free before his scheduled term of release only because he topped the Yoga examinations conducted by the Maharashtra Prisons Department. The jail authorities reduced the sentence of prisoners who scored good marks in yoga because of the recent directives of the Union Government to promote yoga. The Government’s directives also prompted the BJP-led government to introduce yoga examination for jail inmates in all prisons of the state. Additional Director General Prison Bhushankumar Upadhyay too felt that introducing Yoga among the inmates will work in a pro-active manner and change the psyche of the inmates. With this aspect in mind the comprehensive yoga programme was launched in all the Central Prisons across Maharashtra. It was launched on International Yoga Day.
While speaking to Nagpur Today, Additional Director General Prison Bhushankumar Upadhyay said that Yoga is a complete exercise that rejuvenates one from within. It has been proven that yoga brings positive thoughts and helps bring change. It is a process that connects body to the soul and undoubtedly increases efficiency and concentration. In the coming days, the jails across the state will launch their own programmes. One incentive for the convicts to learn Yoga was that the prison inmates in the state who excel in yoga will be eligible for a remission by as much as three months in their sentence. The prisoners were trained in yoga and the sessions comprised of Asanas, Dhyaan and Pranayaam.
At Nagpur Central Prison, the Jail authorities tied up with Patanjali Yog Samiti to teach and train the inmates of the jail.
The Yoga exams are held in two parts, i.e. Preliminary exam with 40 marks and written examination with 60 marks. A total of 191 convicts appeared for the examination out of which 179 convicts passed the examinations.
- Sex Number Passed
- Male 167 155
- Female 24 24
- Total 191 179
The total number of convicts who were eligible for the release under this scheme are four. All the four convicts are said to be undergoing life imprisonment. The other convicts include
- Praveen Hazare
- Nitin Hazare
- Ganpat Handa and
- Sheetal Kawle (already released).
Once these convicts complete the exact days of punishment, they too will be released. The next examination will be held on October 2016. However, these 179 convicts will not be eligible for appearing in the examinations.
The convicts who pass in the first examination gets 1.5 months remittance of their sentence while after completing the second examinations they will gets 1.5 months remittance. This means they get 3 months remittance only after completing both sections of the examinations.
Superintendent of Nagpur Central Prison Yogesh Desai said the rape convict identified as Sheetal Kawale, who was convicted for raping his relative in 2012, was released nearly 40 days before his scheduled prison term ended. Sheetal Kawale succeeded in the test which has 100 marks, scoring a distinction. So, he was granted 40-day remission or reduction of sentence.
According to the Jail Superintendent, over 100 inmates have qualified for the remission in due course but Kawale and one more convict are being freed as they were close to the period. Jail Superintendent Desai claimed that the next examination will be held in October this year which may allow other convicts an opportunity for remission.
Eight prisoners including four each from Nagpur and Aurangabad Central Prisons have got remission ranging between 30 and 40 days so far. These include two who have been sentenced to seven years for causing voluntary hurt with a dangerous weapon, four who have been convicted for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, one who has been convicted for rape and one who has been convicted in a graft case, sources said.
By Ravikant Kamble