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Panel to review release of political prisoners in Bengal

Special Correspondent

13-member committee headed by a retired judge set up



West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressing media persons in Kolkata on Saturday

Kolkata: The West Bengal Government has set up a 13-member committee headed by retired Justice Moloy Sengupta to review release of political prisoners in the State.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters on Saturday that the committee would have representation from human rights organisations, social bodies and the legal profession. The State Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and Additional Director of Police (Law & Order) would also be on the committee. The notification was issued on Saturday.

Ms. Banerjee said the panel would identify politically motivated FIRs, political prisoners undergoing trial for offences pertaining to political movements as per Section 24 of the West Bengal Correctional Services Act, 1992.

“It will identify the nature of the offences and the background leading to commission of such offences, besides examining conduct of prisoners in the correctional home and ascertaining the probability of their reverting to commission of offences," she said, adding that in many cases no trial has taken place. The Commission will submit its report in three months.

Ms. Banerjee had promised at her maiden press conference after taking over charge as Chief Minister that a committee would be set up to make a case-by-case review for the release of political prisoners in the State.

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