A total of 136 prisoners were released on bail from Coimbatore Central Prison late on Monday, in an effort to de-congest the prison amid the COVID-19 situation.
Prison officials said 131 men and five women, who were remand prisoners, were released on bail as per court directions. These prisoners were remanded in judicial custody for non-serious offences. In the second phase, another 17 prisoners will be released from Coimbatore Central Prison, according to officials.
Arrangements for hand-washing are in place at the entrances of the 10 blocks inside the prison. Those prisoners who venture outside to work in initiatives of the Prisons Department such as the ‘Freedom’ fuel stations and ‘Freedom’ Prison Bazaar are instructed to wear face masks. All prisoners will be checked for high body temperature before entering the Coimbatore Central Prison and would be isolated if any COVID-19 symptoms are identified, officials said. All visitors are banned from entering the prison premises till further notice.
‘Healer’ Baskar out on bail
Self-proclaimed medical practitioner S. Baskar aka ‘Healer’ Baskar, who was arrested on March 20 on charges of spreading rumours about COVID-19, was also out on bail from Coimbatore Central Prison on Monday, prison officials said. However, he was out on conditional bail and was not part of the 136 released prisoners.