Hyderabad: Many among the 20 women murder convicts, who have been given remission, are seeing their children for the first time since their sentencing years ago.
These women had murdered, in a fit of “momentary impulsiveness”, their husbands or in-laws due to family disputes and domestic violence. Their children were kept away by their families.
Chanchalguda women prison’s superintendent Basheera Begum said most of these prisoners came from a rural background. “Some of them don’t even know their mailing address. The families of some of the women have moved to other places,” she said.
“Some of them spend their time thinking of their children. Some imagine how their kids would have grown up. Some women write their children names repeatedly in books like Ramakoti,” she said.
The women, many of them illiterate, were schooled in jail under the Vidya Danam scheme. Prisons DG V.K. Singh said the women had requested him for an opportunity to meet their families. “Based on the requests, we have launched a programme to trace their families,” he said.
Ms Basheera Begum said that prison officials found during their field visits that the children of women prisoners had been brain-washed by their families.
“Several children told us that if their mothers are released from jail, they would kill them,” she said.
Complicating the problem, some of the children were witness to their mothers murdering their family members. The children have been counselled to meet their mothers after release, the official said.
She said the prisons’ department had succeeded in reuniting eight women with their children. “We are continuing counselling for 12 women prisoners,” she said.
She didn’t know home address
Six years after a woman from Bidar was arrested at the Shamshabad airport while on her way to Dubai, the prisons department traced her address and contacted her family. Her relatives had given her up for dead.
Women jail’s superintendent Basheera Begum said Jakheera (name changed) was arrested with a fake passport. “She had approached passport agents and obtained a passport.
When she was about to leave for Dubai, immigration officials found the passport was fake and apprehended her,” she said.
Jakheera did not even know her home address, and faced a language problem. The address mentioned in the fake passport was false. Prisons officials searched the documents and located her home in Bidar, Karnataka.
“When we informed her family about Jakheera, they rushed to the prison and met her in tears. They had assumed that she had died in Dubai.”
In another case, a Bangladeshi woman after her release from prison could not find her relatives. “Based on the skills she learned at prison, we helped her get a private job. She is happy with her job and is staying at a working women’s hostel,” Ms Basheera Begum said.