In a bid to reduce mental stress and ensure the 'spiritual healing' of the jail inmates, mantras like 'Gayatri mantra' and 'Mahamrityunjaya mahamantra' will be played on the premises of jails across Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath-led government announced on April 8.
Issuing the instructions across the state, Minister of state for prisons and home guard Dharmveer Prajapati asked the prison authorities to play the mantras after morning prayers as the holy chants would help reduce the stress of prisoners and improve the atmosphere inside jails.
Besides, the state government also banned the use of plastic bottles and accessories inside jail premises, The New Indian Express reported.
"India is a country of believers. I believe that recitation of mantra, prayers, katha (spiritual stories) purifies and sanctifies the atmosphere. I have directed the jail authorities across Uttar Pradesh to play "Gayatri mantra" or "Mahamrityunjaya jaap" after morning prayers. The government believes that prisoners will benefit from the recitations. They will realise the mistake which landed them in jail," said the minister.
Allowing Prisoners To Become Better Citizens
He added that the intent behind the playing of sacred chants was to allow the prisoners to become better citizens. "We will also try to organise spiritual programmes on the jail premises from time to time," the minister added.
In another order, the state government has ordered to introduce a virtual mode of meeting prisoners in jail instead of the offline system.
Being the most populous state in the country, Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of jail inmates (1.06 lakhs), says National Crime Records Bureau's (NCRB's) annual 'Prison Statistics India 2020'.
Earlier this week, 135 prisoners locked up for a long time due to non-payment of court-imposed fines, were released from various state jails on humanitarian grounds. The minister concerned also asked the authorities to issue a toll-free number for registering complaints related to the Prisons Department.
Instructions have also been given for a better vocational training system to the jail inmates so that they would be able to make good quality products that would fetch reasonable prices in the market.
Reportedly, orders have also been given to promote the use of pottery made by the prisoners in the prison department.