93 prisoners to be set free in UP on Vajpayee’s birthday

Lucknow, Dec 24 (PTI) The birthday of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee tomorrow will bring cheers to 93 prisoners as the Yogi Adityanath government has decided to set them free.

These convicts are lodged in different jails of Uttar Pradesh and their names were chosen from a list of prisoners who have completed their tenure in jail.

“It has been decided to set free 93 prisoners convicted in different cases on the 93rd birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. These prisoners have completed their tenure in jail but could not be released due to non- payment of fine imposed on them,” Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said in an order issued here.

He directed the prisons department to ensure the fine is paid by NGOs, trusts and others, after verifying their credentials.

“The names of convicts to be set free have been picked up in a random manner from a list of 135 such prisoners who are not named or are serving imprisonment in another case,” a senior Home department officials said.

Vajpayee had represented Lucknow in the Lok Sabha five times — 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004.

His legacy was taken forward by BJP leaders Lalji Tondon and Rajnath Singh, who won Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and 2014.

“Vajpayee is the first and the only non-Congress leader who completed his full term as prime minister. He means a lot not only in Lucknow seat which he served but for the entire state and in his regime a number of historic schemes were launched,” UP BJP spokesman Shalabh Mani Tripathi said.

On the government decision to set the prisoners free, the BJP leader said, “It is a good decision and based on humanitarian approach. Releasing those who served their sentence by ensuring payment of their fine is a welcome step and shows the people-friendly approach of our government”.

Born in 1924, Vajpayee had his baptism in politics during the Quit India movement in 1942.

He was also the first External Affairs Minister to deliver a speech in Hindi in the UN Assembly in New York. PTI ABN SMI

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