Bengal to free 22 political prisoners

Kolkata, April 8 (IANS) The West Bengal government will later this month release 22 political prisoners, languishing in various state correctional homes (jails) for years, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Monday.

“As per the commitment of our government, we have already released 50 political prisoners. Continuing the process, 22 more such prisoners will be released before the Bengali New Year (April 15),” Banerjee said at the state secretariat, Writers’ Buildings here.

Stating that her government wanted to enable political prisoners rotting in various jails for years to return to the mainstream, Banerjee claimed that so far 165 political prisoners have been released since she came to power in 2011.

“We are releasing them so that they can return to their normal lives and can spend rest of their time with the society,” she said.

Most of the prisoners set to be released are aged between 50 to 60 years and have been in prison for more than 15 years.

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