Patiala jail comes up with cafe to offer food cooked by inmates
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Patiala jail comes up with cafe to offer food cooked by inmates

The decision was taken keeping in mind the demand for jail food to ward off bad omen.

punjab Updated: Aug 11, 2018 17:08 IST
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Patiala jail,Patiala jail cafe,Cafe in Jail Punjab
(Daljeet Kaur Sandhu/HT)

The state prisons department on Friday opened a cafe at the Patiala Central Jail to serve people assorted dishes prepared by the inmates, keeping in mind the demand for jail food which many believe might save them from imprisonment and court cases.

It is an age-old astrological belief that having ‘jail ki roti’ may ward one off Shani, a deity in Hindu mythology known to bring bad luck. It is a known fact that people, particularly politicians and businessmen, throng prisons requesting officials to get them food prepared by inmates after they are advised by their astrologers to do so.

“Whenever a government changes, many politicians request us to provide them food cooked in jail. In Ludhiana, the commercial capital of Punjab, businessman facing court cases also make such requests and pay hefty money for it,” said a jail official.

Situated inside the prison’s main entrance, the Jail View Cafe will have chapattis, dal, curd and a sweet dish on its menu. A plate will cost ₹90.

Jail and cooperation minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who inaugurated the cafe, had food with Patiala mayor Sanjiv Bittu. Additional director general of police (ADGP) GS Sahota, besides senior administration and jail officials were also present.

“After I assumed charge as minister, I came to know “jail ki roti” is in much demand as many influential people make request for it. My aim was to provide better food to inmates. So we decided that the meal given to inmates will be served at the cafe to keep tabs on food quality,” the minister said. The revenue generated will be used for the welfare of inmates.

He said to provide packed food, the department has also opened Verka and Markfed booths on the jail premises.

Jail superintendent Rajan Kapur said, “We are anticipating a good footfall on Saturdays and Thursdays when people make request for such ‘jail ki roti’. Now, they can just walk in and have jail-cooked food.”

To install mobile jammers around gangsters’ cells

The minister said the department has roped in the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to install mobile jammers around the barracks where gangsters and other notorious criminals are lodged in.

“Hardcore criminals have been separated from other inmates and shifted to high-security zones where the BSNL will install jammers. This will be done on pilot project basis in Patiala jail and will be implemented in other jails if it remains successful,” he said.

First Published: Aug 11, 2018 12:27 IST