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Former Tihar DG’s statue taken down on govt order

The statue built by convicted prisoner Ram Chander was inaugurated on January 27 by Mehra.

The statue of former Tihar Director General Vimla Mehra, which has been mired in controversy of late, was removed by the jail authorities after an order was issued by the Delhi Home Department last week. The bust of Mehra, sculpted by an inmate and placed at gate number 1 inside Jail number 1 prison compound, was removed on Friday evening. It has been kept in the store room of jail number 1.

Principal Secretary (Home) Archana Arora confirmed that the department had passed an order for the removal of the statue.

The statue was removed by the jail staff in the presence of a jail Deputy Superintendent from jail number 1. Officials said the statue would not be given to Mehra because it was built with prison fund. The jail headquarters is awaiting an order on what to do with the statue.

The statue built by convicted prisoner Ram Chander was inaugurated on January 27 by Mehra.

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Reports of Tihar inmates bowing before the statue emerged in June, following which the Home Department, asked jail authorities for details regarding the cost of the statue and the place it was kept in.

Sources said following the submission of the inquiry report, Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung asked the Home Department to remove the statue. It is learnt that Jung was upset that Mehra’s statue was kept next to that of Bharat Mata and other religious figures.

“In the notice, the Home Department had sought an explanation about the use of prisoner welfare fund while sculpting the statue. They also wanted to verify media reports that the statue was placed along with those of gods and goddesses,” a source said.

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Earlier this month, Mehra was transferred from Tihar. She is now posted as Special Commissioner of Police (Administration).

Speaking to Newsline earlier, Mehra had said that no prisoner had been asked to bow before her statue. She had claimed that the statue had cost less than Rs 5,000 and that she came to know of the statue only after it had been sculpted by the prisoner.

First published on: 26-08-2014 at 02:02:57 am
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