HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The kin of hundreds of jailbirds doing time in various prisons have demanded that the government free them with the delivery of the new constitution.
Organising a press meet in Kathmandu today, Prisoner Victims Association took serious exception to what they called the trend among government authorities to free many criminals who have access to political power centres, and claimed that more than 50 per cent of the prisoners languishing in prisons were innocent and were jailed on false charges.
“When many people involved in heinous crimes have been enjoying freedom merely because they are political cadres, we call on the government to vacate all the jails in the country by releasing the convicts with the promulgation of the new constitution and the nation entering a new era,” PVA coordinator Surakshya Thapa said.
“Prisoners are also citizens of this country and they should be given an opportunity to participate in nation building,” she added.
Megh Nath Sharma, a PVA member, claimed that many people were sent behind bars by police officers so that they could enjoy promotion and show their ‘performance’.
He also demanded that the government bring about reforms in the jail on humanitarian grounds saying that prisoners were facing a tough time due to lack of physical facilities in correction centres. PVA also warned of Kathmandu-focused agitation if their demands were not fulfilled.
Around 14,000 jailbirds and inmates have been doing time in 74 prisons made for only 6,700 persons in the country.
Recently, more than 100 inmates in the overcrowded and dilapidated Dilli Bazaar Prison had fallen sick due to lack of space in the wake of soaring temperature.