Madan Mitra’s plush ward now a headache for Alipore Jail authorities
Too comfortable for jail standards, the authorities don’t know what to do with the infrastructure.kolkata Updated: Sep 16, 2016 09:47 IST
A clean bed lies at a corner of the spacious ward with a table and a chair at another corner. A wide screen TV with cable connection faces the bed.
Freshly washed curtains shield the ward from the prying glance of other inmates. The room is even equipped with an attached toilet with western-style water closet.
Since Saturday after Madan Mitra vacated this special ward set up for him, Alipore jail officials are at their wits’ end to decide the fate of this infrastructure that is completely out of place with the environs of the jail. While they can’t lodge any inmate there, they can’t dismantle it as it was done up with the funds for jail renovation.
“We do not know what to do with the specially done up ward where the former minister was housed. We cannot keep common inmates in such luxury, while we cannot just dismantle it,” said a senior officer from Alipore jail.
The authorities would now prefer to wait and watch. “If like last time Calcutta high court turns down the bail, we will need it once again to accommodate him. If Mitra’s bail is not cancelled, we do have a problem on our hands,” said the officer, who did not want to be named.
Mitra was released on bail by court on September 9. He was released from Alipore central jail in early morning on September 10.
CBI has already appealed to Calcutta High Court for the cancellation of bail citing that Mitra may influence ongoing Saradha chit fund probe and coerce witnesses.
Since his arrest on December 11, 2014 Mitra spent most of the time in Woodburn Ward of SSKM hospital (meant for VVIPs). But he was immediately discharged and went back home when he was able to secure bail on October 31, 2015. However, a few days later his bail was cancelled and he was shifted to Alipore Central jail.
Since the day this former transport and sports minister stepped inside jail, unlike a common accused, he was placed in a spacious ward. A new bed has been erected and the ward had been surrounded with new curtains apart from a fresh coat of paint.
For him a bathroom was made overnight with “western style” toilet. It also came to light that four inmates were running errands for Mitra. He was provided a new mattress and pillow. The inmates who ran errands ensured his food was served in new crockery. He was also provided curtains for privacy and was served a specially cooked lunch.
Mitra also enjoyed first-class prisoner status which allowed him home food, chair and table, reading lamp, newspapers among other facilities. Such a prisoner gets eggs, fruit, honey, bread and butter for breakfast and fish/egg/meat frequently for meals.
However, Mitra preferred to have food from home. He had a court order to that effect.