Pradeep Pattanayak

In a case of alleged mistaken identity, the Jharpada Special Jail authorities released a rape accused in place of another inmate, who was lodged in the jail in a cheating case. 

According to sources, on September 20, the court granted bail to Ramesh Jena, son of Purnachandra Jena, who was lodged in the Jharpada special jail in a cheating case. On the same day, the jail staff released Ramesh Jena’s namesake, son of Laxmidhar Jena, who was lodged in the jail in a rape case. 

The jail authorities could realise the mistake only when the worried family members of Ramesh Jena, who was still languishing behind bars, complained about it. 

The jail authorities immediately swung into action and informed the matter to the police. In turn, the police managed to arrest Ramesh on September 22 evening and then released the other Ramesh. 

But the question is how such a mistake happened in a jail like Jharpada Special Jail where hardcore criminals are lodged. 

After coming to know about such a snafu, DIG, Prisons, Garib Sahu on Saturday visited the jail and launched a probe to ascertain the reason why such a mistake occurred. 

“Before releasing a prisoner, his name and address are checked. I am now trying to find out whether these have been followed or not. The chief warder, the released prisoner, assistant jailor, jailor, and superintendent, all have been brought under the purview of investigation,” informed Sahu. 

When asked, lawyer Parthasarathi Nayak said, “After committing the first mistake by releasing a rape accused instead of a cheating case accused, the jail authorities committed another mistake by detaining a prisoner for three days even though he has been granted bail.”

Today, OTV team had gone to the jail to collect information about the swapping of prisoners and came across a distressed woman, who alleged that she was not allowed to meet her husband, an inmate of the jail. 

On the other hand, the relatives of a chit-fund accused, who is in jail, were allowed to meet him even though there is no provision for meeting inmates on holidays. 

“The people who came after me have been allowed to meet their relatives. But I have been standing here since. They keep asking me to come after 10 minutes, half an hour, etc. Eventually, I have to argue with them,” she rued.

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