Jailbirds’ hunger strike for amnesty on

Kathmandu, October 23:

Inmates of several jails across the country have been on fast-unto-death demanding the implementation of a recent report that suggested reforms in jails and freeing hundreds of inmates.

According to protection officer of the National Human Rights Commission, Bhim Prakash Oli, who visited the Central Jail in Dillibazaar today, said the inmates’ fast entered 27th day today.

“Condition of some of the jailbirds is serious,” Oli said. According to him, the jailbirds have been demanding implementation of the suggestions of the report prepared by the Jail Reform Committee headed by MP Ram Bahadur Gururng.

It is expected that 90 per cent of 5,900 inmates across the country will be freed if the report is implemented.

The report recommends that the government pardon 90 per cent jailbirds who have fulfilled certain conditions. Impro-ved behaviour of inmates and completion of certain percentage of jail sentence are among the conditions suggested in the report to pardon inmates to let them exercise their rights during CA election.

“The inmates had demanded general amnesty when they started their agitation in the changed political context, but their movement changed course after the committee submitted its report to Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula,” a member of the committee Sudip Pathak told this daily.

A three-member committee of the secretaries of Ministries of Home, Defence and Finance have been considering the report. Recently the Home Ministry sought details of the inmates except those jailed in connection with trafficking, rape, drug peddling, robbery of idols, corruption, rhino poaching and state offence.

Jailbirds of Dillibazaar Central Jail, Parsa and Jaleshwor are still on strike while the rest suspended their movement before Dashain.

The committee has recommended to turn the jails into reform homes. The report adds that the reform homes will be divided into five major categories — university reform home, sports reform home, labour reform home, agriculture reform home, literature and arts reform home — and every inmate will be sent to the appropriate reform home as per his or her interests.

“It would be better for the country and the inmates if the government implemented our report,” Pathak told this daily.