Home National Prisoner no. 3351 Lalu Prasad has limited facility in Ranchi jail

Prisoner no. 3351 Lalu Prasad has limited facility in Ranchi jail


(G.N.S.) Dt. 26
The Central Jail at Hotwar in Ranchi has a famous inmate now: Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad, who is prisoner no. 3351 after conviction in a fodder scam case on Saturday.
Mr. Prasad is lodged in the upper division ward of the jail. The ward houses six other VIP prisoners: Sawna Lakda, former Congress legislator from Jharkhand; Sanjiv Singh, BJP MLA from Dhanbad; Kamal Kishore Bhagat, former legislator from Lohardagga; Raja Peter, former Jharkhand Minister; and Enos Ekka, legislator.
Mr. Prasad has a separate room with a wooden cot, a mosquito net and a TV set which allows him to watch only news on Doordarshan. He reads some vernacular newspapers while soaking in the winter morning sunlight on the lawn outside and has an attendant to cook food.
On Monday, he ate two chapattis, a bowl of rice, lentils and cabbage. Occasionally, he gets tobacco to chew from the jail guards. During the day, he met visitors, including his lawyer and party leaders.
But, unlike in October 2013, when he was in the same jail after being convicted for the first time in another fodder scam case, Mr. Prasad speaks very little. “Most of the time he keeps silent, takes a quick stroll outside, requests staff to switch on the TV set for news or get him tobacco, but looks glum most of the time,” a jail staffer said.
“He is keeping well … doctors visited him for a check-up and he is taking his medicines regularly. He appealed to party leaders and workers to maintain calm outside. We hope he will be out of jail very soon,” Annapurna Devi, RJD leader and former Jharkhand Minister, told presspersons after meeting him.
Along with her, Mr. Prasad’s advocate Prabhat Kumar, MLA Bhola Yadav, party leaders Awadh Bihari Chowdhury and Ranvijay Singh too met him.
Several RJD leaders from Patna and Ranchi were seen at the jail gate, trying to meet their leader or have a glimpse of him.
Jail superintendent Ashok Kumar Chowdhury said that as per the manual, only three persons could meet him in a week from 8 a.m. to noon. “Mr. Prasad himself will decide who those three will be,” Mr. Chowdhury said.
But RJD leaders protested against this restriction. “Since Lalu Prasad is a mass leader, he should be allowed to meet as many people as he wantsWe’ve requested the Jharkhand Chief Minister to make an exception for him as he is a political person and not keeping well,” said senior RJD leader Jai Prakash Yadav in Ranchi.
“At least one family member should be allowed to meet him every day,” another leader said.
With a large number of RJD supporters and workers gathered outside the jail gate, The district administration has now put up a barricade and deployed more policemen.
At Mr. Prasad’s residence on 10 Circular Road in Patna, there was an air of despondence. His wife and former Chief Minister, Rabri Devi, said, “Laluji has to take several medicines every day as he had heart surgery in 2014 … he has to be given them by someone.”
Elder son Tej Pratap Yadav is with his her. Tejashwi Yadav, younger son and Mr. Prasad’s heir apparent, is in Ranchi along with some senior party leaders, planning an appeal in the High Court against the verdict.

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