The Government of India has decided to release 611 prisoners from prisons across the nation under a special remission as a part of the commemoration of the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

“With the release of 611 prisoners on October 2, the total number of prisoners released as part of the special remission has gone up to 2,035 in the last one year,” said a Senior Officer of the Home Ministry, adding that “It’s a project very close to the heart of the Prime Minister”. 

In July 2018, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has decided that special remission to a specific category of prisoners may be offered and to release in three phases starting from October 2.

In the first phase of last year’s October 2, the States and Union Territories have released 919 prisoners. In the second phase on April 6, nearly 505 prisoners were released, and in the last phase on October 2, 2019, around 611 prisoners were also released, said the official. 

The State and Union Territories Authorities were asked to hold special events at all prisons based on the “teaching of Gandhi Ji” before releasing the prisoners. 

Another official said that “they were also asked to take the prisoners to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi to garland it. They were to be gifted books on Mahatma Gandhi’s life.”

Women prisoners who are 55-years and above, and male prisoners older than 60-years, who have completed half of their punishment, and a few other categories of prisoners came under the amnesty scheme were about to release.

However, the special remission wasn’t offered to prisoners accused of an offense for which the sentence is the death penalty or has been commuted to life imprisonment.

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