A convocation in prison now

AHMEDABAD - For the first time in Gujarat, a traditional convocation ceremony to award post-graduate diplomas to hardened criminals will be held in the state’s largest prison here on December 3.

By Mahesh Trivedi

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Published: Sat 26 Nov 2011, 12:29 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:25 AM

Fifty-five prisoners from the 24 jails across the state have cleared the examination for the one-year Post Graduate Diploma in Value Education and Spirituality programme offered by the Tamil Nadu’s Annamalai Open University and sponsored by the Brahmakumaris, a spiritual organisation.

P C Thakur, additional director-general of police (prisons), told Khaleej Times that the successful inmates, including nine Muslims, would wear the traditional black hats and gowns when they would be handed the diplomas at the high-security, jam-packed Sabarmati central jail where they were brought for the course early last year.

Interestingly, the three toppers who pounded books on basic features of all religions are all charged with serious crimes. Safdar Nagori, the ideologue of the banned Student’s Islamic Movement in India and a key accused in the Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts case, scored 87.20 per cent . Atul Patel of the infamous Patan gang-rape case stood second with 86.20 per cent while Saiyad Razak, another key accused in the blasts case, was the third best.

Thakur said that he had seen a dramatic change in the prisoners who joined the course comprising four theory papers and a thesis on spirituality, adding that 15 teachers were involved in guiding the ‘students’ aged between 24 years and 60 years. According to him, several other jails like Tihar and the ones in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have shown interest in starting the course which the Gujarat jail authorities will continue for 2011-12 and, for which 116 inmates have already signed up.


(serial blast accused have won spiritulity diplomas)

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