Inmate in India refuses parole, feels safer behind bars amid COVID-19 outbreak: report

Twenty-one inmates have made similar requests

A prison inmate serving out a six-year sentence in India reportedly refused a special parole because he believes that he is safer behind bars than out in the public amid the country’s COVID-19 wave.

The country is in the process of slowly emerging from a devastating outbreak. Reuters reported that India recorded 154,734 new cases on Monday, which is the lowest daily rise since April 11. The country recorded 329,100 deaths.

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The Indian Express reported that Ashish Kumar, the inmate who once worked as a teacher, was scheduled to be one of 43 convicted inmates to be freed for an eight-week parole. All others took up the offer.

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"We had sent his request to the government for the approval. We have received the nod, which means that Ashish Kumar will remain in the jail till he completes his sentence," an official from the Meerut jail, told the paper.

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The report said Ashish was arrested in 2015 for driving his wife to commit suicide. The paper reported that 21 inmates in the country have made similar requests.