Covid parole: CP orders special drive to trace absconding convicts | Mumbai news

Taking a serious note of the failure of a large number of convicts to return to jails after the expiry of emergency Covid parole a week ago, Commissioner of Police Vivek Phansalkar on Wednesday directed senior officials to conduct a special drive to trace these off-radar inmates.

In a story on Wednesday, Hindustan Times reported how 892 convicts released on Covid emergency parole are yet to return to jails. This prompted the state prison department to register fresh cases against these inmates and booked 86 criminals who were absconding so far.

“I have instructed the Joint Commissioner of Police, who heads the Law and Order Department and the Crime Branch, to launch a special operation to trace these prisoners and send them to jails,” Phansalkar said.

After the Maharashtra government on May 1 withdrew all restrictions imposed under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the state home department issued an order on provisional parole on May 4, directing all convicted prisoners to return to jail. The Home Department has expressly directed the Jail Department to register cases under Section 224 (resisting lawful arrest) of the Indian Penal Code against the non-returnees.

After this order, the Prisons Department started checking the parole status of all the prisoners who were granted emergency parole. 3,340 inmates have returned to the jail within the stipulated time and those who failed to return have been informed to the concerned police station. “Once the police confirm that a criminal has gone off their radar, our staff will register FIRs against them,” said another jail official.

Of the total number of convicts granted emergency parole, five have died and some have been acquitted. According to the latest data available with the Prisons Department, there are 43,507 inmates in 46 jails across the state against a total capacity of 24,722. The state prison department currently has 29 active Covid cases.

Leave a Comment