Making the mockery of parole at the central jail in Ludhiana, several hardcore criminals who have been serving life imprisonment or other punishments never returned without inviting an investigation and action by the jail department.
There are at least four such criminals, who were serving sentence for murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and were granted parole for a month by the authorities, but they never returned.
Parole is provisional release of a prisoner upon agreeing to certain conditions for a specific period of time. Police are held responsible in case the prisoner does not return.
Many other criminals from various districts of the state are lodged at the central jail which is located on the Tajpur Road. However, four prisoners who were sentenced for up to 20 years have also jumped parole.
HT accessed official details of the criminals who failed to return after their parole period expired. The information was procured through a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by city resident Ravi Sharma.
Interestingly, the jail that has a capacity to lodge 2,600 inmates is housing nearly 3,300 of them. This has also raised questions on the jail authorities who have failed to address the issue of more inmates than being permitted.
The jail department seems to be sitting on its hands under which the central jail falls. Sources said only six prisoners returned from their parole of total 46 prisoners.
When contacted, Ludhiana central jail superintendent SP Khanna told HT to call after sometime and did not respond to calls thereafter.