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After 13 years in Kota jail, man walks free at 99

The 99-year-old and his son had murdered a neighbour.

jaipur Updated: Jul 09, 2017 19:17 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times
Ramchandra Lodha walks out of Kota central jail.(HT Photo)

He used a walker but there was a spring in his steps. On Sunday morning, 99-year-old Ramchandra Lodha got a new lease of life. He walked out of Kota central jail after 13 years behind bars for a murder.

Lodha was released because of his age and good conduct, said Prithviraj Singh, in charge of Kota jail. “The director general of jails issued an order for Lodha’s release on Saturday,” he added.

Lodha and his son Shrikrishna murdered a neighbour in their Haniyakheri village in Baran district over a land dispute in 1984. They faced trial for 20 years during which they spent three years in Baran district jail. The two were convicted in 2004 and sent to Kota central jail.

Singh said the two were shifted in 2015 to the open jail, a facility for prisoners who have served a third of their term and have a record of good conduct. In open jails, prisoners are allowed to keep their families and pursue jobs outside the jail campuses. They leave after the morning roll call at 6am and return for the evening call at 7pm.

Kota central jail jailor Yogesh Teji said prison records don’t have Lodha’s date of birth but he has turned 99 as per his age registered at the time of getting into the jail.

Lodha said he was happy to be free but was sad that he lost his wife, another son and daughter-in-law when he and his son were in jail. Shrikrishna (65), who has also completed most of his sentence, said when his mother and wife died, there was no one in the family to apply for parole for them to attend the last rites.

Shrikrishna, also in open jail, runs a cycle rickshaw in the day to earn a living. “I will continue to run it in Kota after my release and may return to my village if I get time,” he said.

First Published: Jul 09, 2017 18:54 IST