Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram being taken to Tihar jail in connection with the INX Media case, in New Delhi on September 5.(PTI File)
Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram being taken to Tihar jail in connection with the INX Media case, in New Delhi on September 5.(PTI File)

No bed for Chidambaram in Tihar jail, gets rug and blanket

Chidambaram, 73, woke up at little after 6 am, the usual time for the inmates to get up, the officials at Tihar said on condition of anonymity.
New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON SEP 07, 2019 08:49 AM IST

Former finance minister P Chidambaram spent his first night in Tihar jail sleeping on a rug spread on the floor of his cell and did not participate in the optional morning prayers with other inmates. Because the jail authorities are yet to decide on whether to provide Chidambaram a bed, he slept on the rug and was given a blanket, jail officials said.

Chidambaram, 73, woke up at little after 6 am, the usual time for the inmates to get up, the officials at Tihar said on condition of anonymity. He did not visit the praying area, which most inmates routinely do. Officials said participation in the morning prayer is optional and not compulsory for the inmates. “Not every inmate attends the morning prayers,” an official said.

After stepping out of his cell like other inmates, Chidambaram ate poha, tea and porridge for breakfast. He spent most of his time walking around the complex and reading newspapers, the officials said.

“For lunch he had chapatti, sabzi, daal and rice. He was served food in same utensils as used by other inmates. He made no special demands and did not complain about anything. Like other inmates he has access to the prison’s library and can watch television in the common area,” said a second jail official.

Later in the day, Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram visited Tihar to meet him. A delegation of Congress leaders including party general secretary Mukul Wasnik, Rajasthan Congress in-charge Avinash Pande, Delhi in-charge P.C. Chacko and Manikkam Tagore also visited Tihar to meet Chidambaram but were not allowed to because the allotted time had lapsed.

Chidambaram was sent to 14 day’ judicial custody on Thursday in the INX Media corruption case. A Delhi court allowed him to carry his spectacles and prescribed medicines to the jail. For security reasons Chidambaram has been kept in a separate cell with an attached western toilet in jail number seven of the Tihar complex.

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