India's oldest prisoner freed from jail



Gorakhpur (UP): India's oldest prisoner Brij Bihari Pandey has been freed from a jail here at the age of 108, having spent 24 years behind bars for committing multiple murders.

Bihari was 84 when he along with 15 others had killed one Bhagwant Pandey and three others in Maharajganj district on June 15, 1987.

The killing stemmed from Bihari's desire to become a 'mahant' of the local Jagannath temple. After one Ramanujdas was elected to the post in his place, an angry Bihari plotted the mahant's murder and that of three others.

In December 2009, Bihari and other accused were held guilty by a lower court and sentenced to life imprisonment, Jailor of Divisional Jail Navami Lal said.

Bihari is suffering from various ailments and is almost bed ridden and undergoing treatment.

In the last week of May, Bihari along with 10 other convicts, was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court, which paved way for his release.

"Following the court's order, he was released from the jail yesterday after his nephew's son completed the formalities," sources here said.

As Bihari was unable to walk, a car was provided near his cell to bring him home, his family members said.

In 2010, the officer of the Maharajganj district magistrate had sent a clemency petition to the Uttar Pradesh governor for setting him free in view of his advanced age.

PTI