JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested on charges of sedition, has been kept in an isolated cell inside jail number 3, which was once occupied by Sahara India chief Subroto Roy.
Tihar jail sources said that Kumar has been kept alone in his cell which has an attached toilet, bathroom and a television. Kumar’s immediate neighbours, jail officers said, are two senior citizens.
Kumar in his high security cell has jail warders guarding him round the clock. Police sources said Kumar’s security is a top priority and that senior officers were roped in to monitor his security during his court hearing on Friday.
According to a news report, Kanhaiya had reportedly requested for a novel by Prem Chand inside prison.
On Friday, he was the only prisoner in the police van. DCP Shivendra Kant Tewari, incharge of the third battalion, is learnt to have held a meeting with his men who were to pick Kumar from the jail. Tewari, sources said, spoke to a senior Tihar officer after which they decided to make an officer sit next to Kumar, acting as a prisoner.
“Kumar was kept in the innermost chamber of the police van with our officer dressing as a prisoner but armed with pepper spray and anti-riot equipment. All the three under-trial prisoners patrol vans were following the police van carrying Kumar. It was important because on Wednesday lawyers had refused to let Kumar out of the court complex. We had to dress him as a cop wearing anti-riot gear to get him out of the court,” said a police officer.
When he was taken out of the Patiala House court lock up after his hearing, sources said, the police deviated from their usual route and took a wrong turn at Tilak Marg on their way back to prison. “Usually we come to Tilak Marg and then take the C-Hexagon but today we were instructed to take Bhagwan Das Marg. Also five similar jail vans left the premises simultaneously to ensure no one identified Kumar in the police van. On reaching Tilak Marg, three vans took the wrong turn while two used the regular route,” said one of the officers.