Set free, convicts eager to turn over a new leaf

When asked to describe his life in prison, Mavoji Ganesh (62) could only offer tears for an answer.

And something else he could offer — heartfelt thanks to the minister and the officials he met on the dais at the function for having considered his name for release. The retired havaldar, given a life sentence in a murder case, assured them that he was a reformed man. As a prisoner in Mysuru, Ganesh learnt Pranic Healing when Grand Master Choa Kok Sui visited the jail. Since then, he learnt yoga and acupuncture techniques and spent his 13-year life in prison by healing fellow inmates of bodily pains and teaching them yoga.

Ganesh served in the Indian Army as a wireless operator for 17 years. Post-retirement, he settled in his hometown of Kushalnagar and became a budding politician. He was then arrested as the main accused in the murder of Kushalnagar Youth Congress president Shanmuga. A Kodagu sessions court sentenced him to life in 2006. Ganesh said he would return to his hometown to take care of his coffee estates as his two daughters had finished graduation and are working. Also walking free from the Parappana Agrahara prison on Sunday was 34-year-old Vasanth Kumar, who had slit his girlfriend Banu’s throat when he was just 20.

Kumar began a love affair with Banu while pursuing a diploma course in computer science at Hosapete, Ballari. Learning about the affair, the girl’s parents married her off to another man. Kumar visited her at home one day and killed her by slitting her throat. Attempts to kill himself by similarly slitting his throat failed.

Kumar was sentenced to life. He spent nearly 14 years in prison, where he learnt scriptwriting and is now looking to work as a scriptwriter in Sandalwood. His family is into the hand weaving business in Hosapete. Basavanna (55), convicted for murder along with few of his relatives, said he would first visit the Nanjangud temple as a free man and offer prayers to his deity before heading home to start a new life.

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