Jailbirds show their power in 'intelligent men's game'

30 prison inmates take part in chess toureny in jail premises

Jailbirds show their power in 'intelligent men's game'

“I joined the judicial department in 1994 and visited almost all jails in the State for various reasons including inspections and enquries in the last 20 years, but never came across such an occasion (programme) wherein all the inmates are smiling, like any other person in society,” said Chief Judicial Magistrate N S Patil.

He was speaking after distributing trophies and certificates to winners of chess tourney jointly organised by the Prisons department, United Karnataka Chess Association and Issues & Concerns in the district prison premises here on Sunday.

Asking the inmates to face the system rather than blaming themselves for their misdeeds, he called upon the inmates to make use of the opportunities provided to them such as this chess tournament.

Referring to another speaker’s comment that every human being has an “attacking nature,” he said that some would have done some misdeed at some point of time, but they will get justice, though it may be delayed.

Citing an example, he said that some times it so happens that the undertrial may not be produced before the court due to lack of escort personnel, sometimes the undertrial may be produced, but the judge may be on leave, sometimes, the public prosecutor or the client’s advocate may be on leave. “There are various reasons for delay in court proceedings,” he said and added that every person will get justice, but it may be delayed.

Lok Adalat

Presiding over the programme, Jail Superintendent Ramesh P S said that he has plans to hold Lok Adalat to settle at least a few cases in association with the judges and the departments concerned. 

“We wish that the inmates are released as soon as possible and we will try our best within our limits,” he assured and promised to hold more such events including carrom and essay contests for the inmates in the days to come.

Smallest and biggest

Speaking on the occasion, UKCA President M S Gururaj said that perhaps the event (tournament) was one of the smallest events conducted by the UKCA, but it was the happiest moment for him to see the inmates play chess. He also offered to provide any training for inmates once they are out of jail and called upon them to take part in the State-level or national-level contests to be organised by the UKCA. The UKCA also donated 20 chess boards to the inmates.

Referring to the popular saying that chess is intelligent men’s game, Mangalore Airport former director and UKCA Honorary President M R Vasudeva, who keenly watched the players’ play the game, lauded their efforts and said that with little training, they can perform much better. 

Issues & Concerns Editor Jayaram Shriyan donated shirts and caps to the players. Prison Medical Officer Dr Rajaram Rai was present.

Winners speak

A total of 30 inmates took part in the tourney in which Ravi emerged as the champion while Mahesh won the runner up trophy and Gopal won the 2nd runner up. Surya Kumar and Hamsa won the consolation prizes. 

The winner, runner up and 2nd runner up also received a cash prize of Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively while the consolation prize winners received Rs 500 each. This apart, all the participants were given participation certificates.Champion Ravi, a native of Mudigere in Chikmagalur has been in the jail since three years in an accident related case, while runner up Mahesh from Maharashtra is in jail since 8 months on murder charges while 2nd runner up Gopal from Hassan is in jail since 18 months on theft charges.

Interestingly, Ravi and Gopal learnt chess in the Mangalore prison itself while Mahesh knew to play chess before he came to jail.

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