State of favouritism: Raja takes it easy inside Tihar jail
Guards belonging to the Tamil Nadu Special Police (TNSP), tasked with securing Tihar jail's outer perimeter, are allegedly doing favours for former telecom minister Andimuthu Raja. Abhishek Sharan reports.delhi Updated: Feb 21, 2011 00:01 IST
Guards belonging to the Tamil Nadu Special Police (TNSP), tasked with securing Tihar jail's outer perimeter, are allegedly doing favours for former telecom minister Andimuthu Raja.
The disgraced minister was remanded to judicial custody there in the 2G spectrum and licence allocation scam.
According to sources, TNSP guards helped Raja meet an unauthorised visitor, suspected to be his political aide, on Friday at his ward, in violation of jail rules.
"Nobody knows what transpired during their hour-long conversation," the source said. "The visitor did not register himself with the jail's public relations office."
"The meeting, witnessed by a few other inmates and jail staff, has created a feeling that the TNSP guards are favouring Raja," said the source.
A visitor can only meet an inmate at the entrances of jails 3 and 4, in one of the visitors' booths that are watched by armed guards.
"This kind of access was never provided to any inmate's visitor in the past. It is a big violation of rules and a security breach as a visitor is barred from reaching the inner perimeter of the jail," the source said.
Another jail source said that the TNSP guards and Raja converse in Tamil, which no one else around follows.
Pointing out the fact that scam case's other accused---RK Chandolia, Siddharth Behura and Shahid Balwa----are also lodged in the same sub-jail, number 1, where Raja is lodged, the source said, "There is a risk that Raja could be using TNSP guards, who are Tamil-speaking too, to pass messages to outsiders in connection with the case."
There are more allegations against the TNSP guards. "TNSP guards often take Raja to the jail canteen without seeking permission from jail officials," said the source.
Director general (prisons) Neeraj Kumar denied the allegations against TNSP guards. "The Tamil Nadu Special Police personnel are entrusted to only protect the outer perimeter of the Tihar jail. They do not interact with any inmate."