Jail no.7, ward no.2 and cell no. 15 of Delhi’s Tihar Jail is where former Home Minister P Chidambaram is lodged till September 19.
First-time economic offenders and those arrested under dowry charges are lodged in jail no.7 and it is less crowded than the other jails within the complex, said a Tihar Jail source. A source said Chidambaram “will be allotted six blankets — three for putting on top of the cot — a fan and a western toilet”.
Sources have told The Indian Express that he will be next door to Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik for the next two weeks.
Before Chidambaram, his son Karti Chidambaram, Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Christian Michel James, an alleged middleman and an accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, Rajiv Saxena, an accused-turned-approver and lobbyist Deepak Talwar were lodged in the same jail.
Sources said there are two types of cell in jail no 7 — a separate cell for one man and another for three men. “Keeping the security threat in mind, Chidambaram will be lodged in a separate cell where he can use western toilet as specified by the court order. He is a protectee under Z-security and security arrangements have been tightened in jail no 7 where there are 800 prisoners in all. The court has allowed him to carry his medicines to the jail,” a source said.
A jail official said Chidambaram will be lodged in the cell from 9 pm to 6 am. “We allow all inmates to come out at 6 am and they are served tea with two biscuits. Before breakfast, they have to perform yoga and prayers. The breakfast is served between 8 am and 9 am and to collect it, they have to come in a queue. The undertrials can say no to the jail work and during that time, they can sit, walk or read in the library. They can also teach other prisoners. Chidambaram can get some specific books from his family members, but only if they are allowed by the jail superintendent. Apart from his advocates, a maximum of 10 people from his family or among friends can meet him everyday,” the official added.
The official said the Congress leader will be served lunch between 10.30 am and 11.30 am and he will be locked inside his cell from 12.30 to 3.30 pm. “Around 3.30 pm, he will be allowed to come out and he can then play a sport with other prisoners. Around 6.45 pm, dinner will be served,” an officer said, adding that inmates can watch television till 9 pm, after which they are sent to their cells.
Officials said the usual dinner menu is roti, dal, sabji and rice. “He can drink water from an RO plant or purchase packaged bottle from the jail canteen. He can get pen and paper from jail stationery. He will also have access to the jail’s library. His family can provide clothes to him as per rules for undertrials,” the official added.
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