In a unique experiment, offenders seeking reprieve from externment from Bhopal district authorities are being asked to plant and take care of 100 saplings each under the watch of the police. Two such 'saplings to avoid externment' orders have been passed on Friday by Bhopal Collector, also district magistrate (DM), Tarun Pithode.
"While hearing two cases of externment on Friday, the offenders, who were asking for forgiveness, were told to plant 100 saplings each by the DM's court. The order was issued as per legal norms. They were also told to take care of these saplings," Pithode told PTI on Saturday.
He said it was an initiative to bring them back on the right path as well as help the environment, apart from keeping such offenders engaged in social work.
"The police station in charge of the area where these offenders live have been told to verify whether the saplings have been planted and also monitor if they are being taken care of as ordered," Pithode explained.
They have been asked to plant the saplings on land they own, along side roads or any place deemed suitable, the DM said. He said offenders have been told to submit a report on the sapling plantation to the DM's court in three months, apart from reporting at the local police station every 15 days.
"We will take such decisions on a case-to-case basis," Pithode informed, adding that about 250 such externment cases are pending in the DM's court.
The initiative comes on the heels of an earlier decision by district authorities in Gwalior, in the first week of June, asking those seeking gun licences to plant at least 10 saplings each. They were asked to click selfies with the saplings and then submit it with the gun licence application a month later.