Bihar jail inmates donate Rs 50,000 for families of CRPF soldiers killed in Pulwama attack
The staff and prisoners of Bihar’s Gopalganj sub-divisional jail have donated Rs 50,000 to the Army Relief Fund (ARF) for the families of CRPF soldiers killed in last week’s suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.
A demand draft in favour of the ARF was dispatched through registered post on Monday afternoon, officials said. There are 750 prisoners, including 30 women inmates, in the sub-divisional jail. And, 102 are convicted prisoners.
Jail authorities said the prisoners were closely watching the developments after the Pulwama attack and wanted to contribute in whatever form they could to support the soldiers’ bereaved families in this hour of grief.
The prisoners have also sent a letter, signed by at least 250 of them, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering to fight the enemy on the border if there is a war.
“If we die fighting, we would consider ourselves fortunate to be called a martyr, and if we survive, we would return to this walled campus without giving any trouble to the authorities,” the letter, seen by the Hindustan Times, said.
Jail superintendent Sandeep Kumar, however, said there is no provision under the law that allows prisoners to work outside the jail campus.
He, however, said the prisoners have shown a reform in their attitude and approach towards a meaningful life and that is the sole purpose of the government’s rehabilitation programs in the jail.
“The amount may be small but the prisoners’ gesture is extremely laudable,” jail superintendent Sandeep Kumar said.
The prisoners, as per the prison reform program, work on various projects within the walls and earn a marginal amount, which is given to them when they are released.
Kumar said the prisoners are engaged in several income generation activities that vary from farming to production of handmade goods like incense sticks and other manual works.
“We grow all kinds of vegetables and flowers in the campus. Work is taken mostly from the convicted prisoners and each one of them earns roughly around Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,500, which goes directly into their accounts,” he said.
At least 40 soldiers were killed when a 22-year-old Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant rammed his explosives-laden car into their convoy on February 14.