Prisoners rejoice at 'rebirth,' turn emotional

Prisoners rejoice at 'rebirth,' turn emotional

Yogesh K R was just 18 when he landed in jail for murdering his father’s killers with the help of his friends. Fifteen years later, when he walked out of the Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara here on Thursday, tears rolled down his cheek and his voice choked.

“It’s a rebirth for me. My first birth was from my mother’s womb and the second is walking out of this prison,” he said.

The Republic Day brought great cheer to 144 prisoners across Karnataka, 61 of them at the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison, as they were set free for good behaviour.

As many as 44 people were arrested and charge-sheeted in Yogesh’s case; 30 of them were sentenced to life imprisonment. Out of these 30, 11 prisoners were identified to be released. But one of them died in an accident while on parole and another overspent time outside jail on parole. His release was ruled out.

Yogesh’s stay in jail reformed him to the extent that he made friends with his father’s killers, realising that an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. Now 32, he plans to lead a life in harmony with his mother Kamalamma and brother Jayannna at their village, Kamasamudra, in Arsikere taluk, Hassan district. He spent three years and nine months at a jail in Dharwad before being shifted to Bengaluru to serve life imprisonment.

Yogesh had turned 18 just a month before he committed the murder in 2002. His father, K N Rajappa, was a gram panchayat member who was murdered by his political rivals when he came to inaugurate a metric mela at their village. Yogesh vowed revenge and, with the help of his friends, hacked a person from the opposite gang.

The case of 59-year-old Ramachandrappa is equally astounding. His 105-year-old mother Basamma, who he thought will not be there to see him free, is alive. His sole wish is to sleep on her lap to relive his childhood memories. Ramachandrappa, a teacher, was convicted of murder along with six of his family members. He was part of a group that had clashed over a political issue at Bangarakka Guddada village in Jagalur taluk of Davangere district in 2001. While two of his brothers Appanna and Channabasappa and his son, Lakshman, were released from the Central Jail in Ballari, another brother Shivanna was released from the Bengaluru Central Prison.

On Thursday, a valedictory function was held at the Central Prison, Parappana Agrahara, to mark the prisoners’ release. Speaking on the occasion, Home Minister G Parameshwara presented good conduct certificates to 61 prisoners.

He urged them to lead a peaceful life and respect the law. He asked them not to get disheartened or think themselves as social outcasts. He said that when a country like Sweden could abolish prisons, why couldn’t India reduce crimes and thereby criminals and prisons.
DH News Service

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