On Wednesday, on the first floor of ward number six inside the high security Alipore central jail, Madan Mitra sat glued to the television.
When the Singur verdict was delivered, he jumped up and went for a stroll with a smile.
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The former transport minister even met visitors at the jail superintendent’s office.
“Since morning, he was tense and glued to the television. The verdict was delayed, but he did not move. He also told others in his ward not to disturb him. Once the verdict was out, he was elated. He told others how he missed the outside world on a day like this,” said a senior jail official.
Mitra was arrested by the CBI in connection with the multi-crore Saradha scam. Later, he was also among leaders who were seen taking cash bribe during the Narada News sting operation.
After the verdict was delivered, he walked out of the ward and walked straight into the air conditioned office of the jail superintendent. Till evening, Mitra was seen chatting with visitors.
“He was unusually happy. He inquired about who is doing what outside,” said a jail official.
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A new bed has been given to him and the ward was surrounded by new curtains apart from a fresh coat of paint.
For him, a bathroom was also constructed. It also came to light that four inmates were serving Mitra, from providing him with a new mattress and pillow to ensuring his food was served in new crockery. He was also provided curtains for privacy and was served a specially cooked lunch.
Since his arrest in 2014, Mitra spent most of the time in Wodburn Ward of SSKM hospital (meant for VVIPs). But he was discharged and went back home when after securing bail.
However, a few days later, his bail was cancelled and was moved to Alipore central jail.
Mitra also enjoys first class prisoner status which allows him home diet, chair and table, reading lamp and newspapers, among others. Such a prisoner gets eggs, fruits, honey, bread and butter for breakfast and fish/egg/meat frequently for meals.