Sitting next to the driver of the jail van in which he was taken back to Tihar after the verdict, RK Sharma must have wondered how quickly the wheel of fortune has turned against him.
Sharma was seated in the jail van’s front cabin while the other convicts were in the vehicle’s rear portion to prevent them from attacking Sharma, said a Tihar jail source. Sharma, who has served as the Inspector General (Prisons) in Haryana, was seeing life from the other side of the fence this time, as a murder convict.
From Tuesday, life would not be the same for Sharma, quite literally. He would now have to wear white clothes and take up some work inside the jail, besides going through the routine grind other convicts face.
Sharma would now be required to work daily, unlike earlier when he was an undertrial and working was just an option, not a necessity. “Sharma would fall under the skilled-labour category and can take up some clerical job, like maintaining files and records. He would be paid Rs 52 daily. He would, however, have to part with Rs 13 that would go to Shivani Bhatnagar’s family, as per rules introduced recently,” said a source.
Sharma was taken back to Jail No 1 after being pronounced guilty on Tuesday. He would stay there till the time his punishment is declared, after which Tihar authorities will shift him to another jail.
Sharma would now have to part with his favourite pastime, playing table tennis and carom, said a source. As per the Tihar Jail Manual, he would have to get ready and report to work at 8 am. The daily shift would be till 4 pm.
“Earlier, he was free to wake up and sleep anytime like other undertrials. Now, he would have follow a set pattern,” said a jail official.
He would also be required to wear a white kurta-pyjama. Civil clothes would be allowed only during court hearings and during interaction with family.