BENGALURU: Emotions ran high at the main gates of Central Prison (Parappana Agrahara) on Monday morning as 141 murder convicts — of which only one was a woman — walked to freedom after serving jail terms for over 14 years and were welcomed by kith and kin. They were released on grounds of good conduct from various prisons across the state.
M Hussainabba, 50, from Nippani in Belagavi district, couldn’t hold back his tears when he met his 16-year-old daughter for the first time in life. He was arrested in 2002 after murdering a neighbour over property issues. Fellow villagers caught him at the scene of crime and handed him over to police. On the fateful day, his wife had gone to the doctor for a pregnancy test, which was positive.
Unable to afford an advocate to bail him out, he was lodged in judicial custody at the Belagavi prison and was convicted of murder and awarded life imprisonment in 2006. By then, Hussainabba’s wife had given birth to a girl. The couple already had two sons. As the girl grew up, family members, however, told her Hussainabba worked in the Gulf and would return some years later.
“Last year, the girl completed class 10 with a second class and is now attending a PU college in Maharashtra. We revealed the real facts to her last year but refrained from taking her to the prison. We often showed her picture to Hussainabba,” Naushad , the girl’s maternal uncle, told TOI.
Holding a suitcase and certificate, Hussainabba walked hurriedly towards his family members who waited some distance from the main gate. His wife and daughter broke down as others hugged him.
Jayashree B from Belagavi district was the lone woman among the released convicts.
Meanwhile, eight women convicts gave a representation to home minister Basavaraj Bommai , alleging that women convicts are never recommended for early release due to good conduct.
H Ullas, 55, emerged from the jail in his wheelchair. Ullas, from Yadgir district, spent 15 years in Kalaburagi Central Jail after being charged with murder. “I was trying to stop a fight between a mother and her son. Unfortunately, the son died at my hands and I was convicted for life. My parents sold a small agricultural plot to raise money for my advocate’s fees and other expenses. Now, I will have earn for myself and my aged parents,” he said. Ullas said he had managed to save around Rs 2.5 lakh from the wages he earned in the jail and plans to turn over a new leaf by starting a powerloom.
But some convicts were all nerves. Shekarappa N and K Omkarappa, in their late 60s and from Tarikere in Chikkamagaluru, said they can’t wait to get back to farming. “We have arecanut plantations and paddy fields. We are strong enough to work hard. But will society take us back? Will our relatives and others treat us normally? Will we be invited to family get-togethers,” they wondered.
The duo was among was among the 80 booked and 12 convicted in a double murder case reported in 2001. “A love marriage had sparkled a fight between two families. Two family members of the girl, were hacked to death. When the killings took place, we were having lunch at home. A day later, police arrested of 80 men, including us, on charges of rioting and murder,” they said.
Bommai also launched a community radio in the Bengaluru prison on the occasion.