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14,000 convicted in Bihar in 20 months
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna
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September 26, 2007 16:27 IST

Over 14,000 criminals have been convicted in the last 20 months in Bihar. But the fast rate of convictions is leading to overcrowding in the state's jails.

Fast track courts have convicted and sentenced 14,108 criminals thanks to support from the Nitish Kumar-led National Democratic Alliance government.

Rashtriya Janata Dal Member of Parliament Mohammad Shahabuddin is one those convicted and sentenced for crimes including murder and kidnapping by the fast track courts.

State Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah told that criminals were convicted and sentenced by the fast track court set up by the state government. "These criminals have been convicted and sentenced under different sections of the IPC and Arms Act," he said.

According to official figures the jail terms include 36 death sentences, 2,981 life imprisonments, 782 sentences of over 10 years and 10,309 sentences for less than 10 years.

Nitish Kumar government launched speedy trials soon after come to power in November 2005 to check crime and rid the state of its  "lawless" tag.

Top police officials feel that speedy trials have instilled a sense of fear in the minds of anti-socials. "The state government's speedy trial campaign is a successful model as it instilled sense of fear in the minds of criminals," Additional Director General of Police Abhayanand said.

However, the fast track convictions have led to a piquant situation. It is giving sleepless night to jail authorities as the convicts have outnumbered undertrials in the already overcrowded jails across the state.

There are over 44,000 prisoners lodged in 54 jails. The jails have a capacity to accommodate 20,000 prisoners.

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