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Manu wants mattress, heater; jail refuses

Manu Sharma made his demands known soon after he was brought to Tihar.

india Updated: Dec 19, 2006 16:46 IST

Sent to the Tihar Jail after being found guilty for the murder of ramp model Jessica Lall, Manu Sharma demanded a bed, a mattress and room heater - but prison officials said on Tuesday the requests cannot be met.

Son of Congress leader and former Haryana minister Venod Sharma, Manu Sharma made his demands known soon after he was brought to Tihar, India's maximum-security prison, a jail official said on condition of anonymity.

The 29-year-old told jail officials that he wanted a bed, mattress, table, chairs and room heater - to beat the winter chill.

The jail sources said Manu Sharma, who until the other day lived in a posh bungalow in Chandigarh where he ran a nightclub, did not look remorseful as he stepped into the prison with co-accused Vikas Yadav, also son of a politician, and former executive Amardeep Singh Gill.

"This is not the first time that Manu Sharma is in Tihar jail," said the official. "He was undeterred when he was brought in (Monday). There was no sign of worry.

"We cannot stop people from demanding things, but it is our responsibility to see what can be provided according to jail rules. We do not think these things can be provided to any inmate," the official said, referring to Manu Sharma's wish list.

"We have to look after over 13,000 inmates, and Manu Sharma is not the only one who needs these things," the official added.

Manu Sharma was found guilty on Monday of shooting Lall dead from close range on April 30, 1999 apparently for refusing him a drink at the now shutdown Tamarind Court restaurant in New Delhi.

The court found Yadav and Gill guilty on charges of destroying evidence and trying to shield Manu Sharma.

Before being brought to the overcrowded Tihar jail, he was taken for a medical check up and spent the night in a barrack.

On Tuesday, Manu Sharma was taken to the jail hospital as a routine. The official added that Manu had not eaten anything since morning and his food would be brought from home.

"Last night also he got food from his home and today (Tuesday) someone from his family is coming with the food. We allow people to have home-cooked food once a day," he added.