Lifer’s wife awaits his release

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Nineteen-year-old Mohammed Ibrahim was arrested in 1998 on suspicion in a murder case. He was tried and sentenced to life, in Coimbatore prison.

Every September, when prisoners with good conduct are released as part of the birth anniversary of former chief minister C.N. Annadurai, his friends and family keep their fingers crossed for his release. Rabiya (24), an Arabic teacher who married him two years ago after understanding him, is awaiting his release this year to start a new life.

Ibrahim has realised his mistakes and feels sorry, says Rabiya.

“He had committed the crime when he was in his teens. Now he has understood the purpose of life and wants to be productive. He has learnt vocational courses and continued his education in prison. He wants to lead a useful life now,” informs Rabiya. She has approached the chief minister’s cell with a petition asking for his release. Ibrahim’s mother and other family members have lost hope and do not visit him in prison.

Activists say that similar to Ibrahim, there are many prisoners who have learnt lessons in the prison and should be given an opportunity to live peacefully.

“The Supreme Court has mentioned that life term means spending the entire life till death. In some cases, after 14 years, an advisory board will be set up to evaluate whether the prisoner can be given remission considering his good conduct as per the prison department rules,” said advocate S.J. Umar Kayan, who fights for prisoners’ rights.

He said instead of keeping the prisoner, who has realised his mistakes, throughout his life in prison, the government should rework the number of years of punishment and methods to evaluate his conduct.

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