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Decks cleared for release of over 200 lifers


GUWAHATI, July 1 - Having received opinions from the convicting courts, the State Government said that decks have been cleared for facilitating the release of more than 200 life convicts languishing in different prisons in Assam.

�We have received opinions from the convicting courts of various districts and the process of release will soon start,� a source at the State Government told this reporter.

The Government has also received conduct reports of most of the life convicts issued by the respective Deputy Commissioner and also the Superintendent of Police.

Meanwhile, the State-level board entrusted with the duty of giving the final nod to the release order is also expected to sit within this month although the date for the same has not been decided yet.

The Supreme Court, in one of its order, had authorized the respective State Government to take a call on the release of convicts who had spent 14 years or more in connection with heinous offences like murder.

Although the State Government had made up its mind to facilitate release of over 200 such convicts, the process got delayed for several reasons, inviting sharp reactions from some quarters.

Jail authorities, according to sources, had already submitted their respective list of the life convicts who are to be covered under the release process.

Sources are of the view that the releases would be effected in a phased manner taking into consideration the time spent and other criteria.

�We cannot afford to further the process as that might lead to some unwarranted security issues,� the source said, adding that the State Government is likely to use its discretion in some cases.

The jails in Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Golaghat have the most number of life convicts.

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