The prisons authorities are set to free 385 more convicted prisoners today as part of government's early release plan to ease accommodation crisis and minimise Covid-19 risk in the crowded prisons.
"We have released 170 inmates yesterday and will release 385 more from different jails today," Col Abrar Hossain, additional Inspector General of Prisons told The Daily Star.
The Home Ministry after taking opinion from Law Ministry recently ordered prisons authorities to release 2,884 prisoners who were convicted for one year or less for minor offences but severed months in jails.
"The rest will be released in a week gradually," Col Abrar added.
The 170 prisoners released yesterday served jail term of six months, the 385 being released served between three months and less than six months while the rest have been in jail for less than three months, jail sources said.
As per the Home Ministry order, the prisons headquarters recommended releasing around 5,000 prisoners under three categories.
There are more than 3,000 prisoners in the first category who were sentenced to two-year imprisonment.
The second category includes 1,413 life-sentenced prisoners who served more than 20 years in jail, and there are 36 disabled prisoners under the third category.
"We did not get any decision about 1,413 life-sentenced prisoners and 36 disabled prisoners," said an official of the prisons headquarters.
There are around 90,000 prisoners at 68 jails across the country, against a capacity of 41,244, posing a high risk of coronavirus transmission inside the prisons.
At least 13 prison guards, who watched over inmates at hospitals, and a hospitalised inmate were tested positive for Covid-19 so far.
The guards who tested positive are from a barrack near the old Dhaka Central Jail in the capital's Bakshibazar.