To most of us, jails conjure up images of a very hard life spent in seclusion. No more.
It can sometimes even mean a lot of fun, especially if you are Yogi Adityanath, the firebrand BJP MP, and your host is Amarmani Tripathi.
On Wednesday night, the saffron leader, whose supporters are allegedly on the rampage in parts of eastern UP these days, was given the taste of jailhouse rock (albeit the Bhojpuri version of it) in the Gorakhpur jail. Regaling the 'select' audience with some Bhojpuri numbers was Nandu Mishra and Party, a local favourite. The venue was Shatabdi House (barrack).
Adityanath and his supporters are in jail on charges of disturbing peace and violating prohibitory orders. MLA Amarmani Tripathi, considered very powerful for his proximity with the powers that be, happens to be there in connection with the Madhumita murder case.
That was not all. Since his stay there, Adityanath and his larger-than-life presence have virtually turned the rules upside down on the jail premises. Bhandaras were organised in Adityanath's honour. The city mayor visited the jail regularly, overseeing arrangements for the saffron leader. Also, Adityanath was provided with mobile phones and other facilities.
All this and more were conveyed in a complaint to the DGP by Samajwadi Party (SP) district president Chandrabali Yadav and others. Apart from allegations of violation of jail manuals, the complaint alleged unchecked flow of visitors to meet Adityanath for the past three days.
On Thursday, the district administration, however, said 'enough is enough' and beefed up the security. RPF personnel were called in to man the jail premises. It also restricted the entry of Yogi's supporters into the jail. Visitors were directed to submit an application for visiting the jail.
In protest against it, the supporters of Adityanath staged a noisy demonstration on the jail premises.