Three inmates of Mangaldai district jail are among the toppers of a class XII-equivalent programme exam conducted by state-run Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University (KKHSOU). All the seven inmates who appeared in the exam came out successful with three of them securing a position in the top ten.

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After the result, the inmates want to lead a movement of change inside the jail premises. Arupjyoti Deka, the topper, who is a lifetime prisoner, is also working as a librarian in the jail.

“It’s a great feeling to have done that. Everybody congratulated at the achievement,” jail official Munindra Nath Sarma told The News Mill quoting the 32-year-old Arupjyoti Deka.

Arup secured 80.33 per cent with letter marks in English, Economics, Political Science and Sociology in the exam termed as Bachelor Preparatory Programme (BPP) under KKHSOU.

Sarma said that Arup is thankful to all the staff and officials of the jail besides his fellow inmates in the jail.

“With the help of the jail authorities, we have developed a healthy environment where we can polish our skills. That’s how we studied and got the good results,” Arup told the jail official.

Arup, a native of Deomornoi in Darrang district has been lodged in the jail since 2012 after he was convicted in a murder case. Besides Arup, Dhrubajyoti Hazarika scored 73 per cent while Ilias Purti got 71 per cent marks.

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They all appeared from the study centre of the KKHSOP set up in the district jail with support from Brilliant Academy Junior College.

“We live like a family here and we want to change and bring a change around us. We want to forget everything – the mistakes may be the accidental mistakes – and move forward. I have also written some short stories and poems which reflect the daily life of my surroundings through my eyes,” quoting Arup, the jail official told The News Mill.

The jail authorities have also opened a library for the inmates inside the jail premises which comprises books of fiction, history and also some religious books. Sometimes they borrow books from Mangaldai District Library as well.

Sarma said that they have engaged the inmates in several creative activities which help to maintain a positive atmosphere inside the jail premises.

“We try to engage them in a number of activities. Besides the wall magazine, we have also initiated a project of preparing food items – basically sweets. Initially, there were 59 members but after some of them completed their jail term, we have now 48 inmates working in the project successfully,” Sarma said. He added that the inmates who succeeded in the exam were felicitated to motivate others.

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The jail officials said that KKHSOU coordinator Major Sarma and deputy registrar Birinchi Bora have facilitated all the necessary help for the inmates to learn lessons and appear in the exam.

“I’m also thankful to Darrang deputy commissioner Ashok Barman and IG of prisons Ranjan Sharma for helping us in making this happen,” Sarma added.

He said that the jail authorities facilitated for teachers from various educational institutes to come to the jail and teach the inmates.

BPP is equivalent to class 12. After the BPP, the students can enrol in the bachelor’s degree programme.

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