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"Amend G.O.s for prisoners' release"

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Several BC, SC and ST organisations have sought amendment to GOs 314 and 315 to enable release of prisoners who have completed five years of jail term, in connection with coming Republic Day. The GOs were now applicable only to those who had served for seven years.

R. Krishnaiah, president, Andhra Pradesh Backward Classes Welfare Association, and leaders of Andhra Pradesh BC Students' Association, CPI (ML) Liberation, Dalita Sankshema Sangham, Bahujan Samaj Vidyarti Samakhya, Andhra Pradesh BC Ikya Vedika, Andhra Pradesh State BC Federation, SC, ST, BC Students' Federation, SC, ST and BC Front told a press conference here on Saturday that the GOs at present would benefit only about 150 prisoners.

But if these were amended a larger number most of whom, belonged to weaker sections would benefit. Besides, they pointed out that the GOs were contrary to the past practice of freeing all those who had completed five years of jail terms.

Referring to the remission of sentence granted to Congress leader, Gauru Venkat Reddy, they stated that the objective of the pardon would not serve the purpose unless the benefit was extended to prisoners belonging to weaker sections.

15,000 in jail

The leaders said there were about 15,000 prisoners in various State jails, including 2,500 serving life-term.

The others were serving terms for small offences and violation of acts and corruption.

Many of them were being confined for longer periods because of "vindictive opponents" or "false implication" in the cases.

To justify their demand, they recalled the release of those who completed five year in jail ordered by former Chief Ministers T. Anjaiah, N. T. Rama Rao, N. Chandrababu Naidu and incumbent Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy soon after he took over in 2004.

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