Tihar’s high-profile inmates to have a low-key Diwali
While some are worried about whether their family will be allowed to meet them on Wednesday, others are curious about if they will get to light candles to usher in Diwali. Abhishek Sharan reports.delhi Updated: Oct 25, 2011 10:25 IST
While some are worried about whether their family will be allowed to meet them on Wednesday, others are curious about if they will get to light candles to usher in Diwali.
Most among the group of around two-dozen high-profile under-trials — who are accused either in the 2G spectrum scam case or the Commonwealth Games corruption cases — are currently consumed with uncertainty over the mode of Diwali celebrations this year. The group includes former telecom minister A Raja and DMK’s Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi.
Kanimozhi, who is lodged in a sub-jail six’s cell, has been known to enquire with other inmates about the rules on celebrating a festival such as Diwali in jail, said a jail source. Usually seen browsing through “high-brow fiction/non-fiction books”, Kanimozhi finds time to visit the pottery workshop in her sub-jail, said the source.
“We have let it be known to inmates that that they can buy packets of wax/earthen candles and salted snacks/biscuits from jail canteens at each of the 10 sub-jails and that they can light candles at the periphery of their wards/barracks,” the source added. “We have also informed inmates that as per rules, an inmate cannot meet relatives or lawyers on Diwali since the day will be a gazetted holiday,” the source said.
Packets of candles and salted snacks/biscuits are also available at Tihar Jail’s (TJ) 15 outlets across the city where a range of products made by the convicts are sold under TJ’s brand.
The celebrations on Wednesday for five of these high-profile inmates, including Kanimozhi and Cineyug Films’ founder Karim Morani, who are chargesheeted in the 2G spectrum scam, are likely to be low-key but imbued with fresh hope for an early release. The CBI on Monday informed a designated court hearing their case that it did not oppose their bail applications.
“For some like Kanimozhi, the fact that they did not get bail today was a dampener since they were hoping to celebrate Diwali at home. But there is still hope,” said another jail source.
DB Realty promoter Shahid Balwa and Raja's former private secretary RK Chandolia — also chargesheeted in the 2G spectrum scam case and lodged in sub-jail one and three, respectively — are known to have expressed their dismay at their bail applications being opposed by CBI in the court. Balwa is seen immersed in reading court documents related to his case.