Prison officials turn down Partha Chatterjee’s plea for rice at both meals

Authorities of the Presidency Central Correctional Home, where Trinamool Congress leader and former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee is lodged, have denied the latter’s plea for rice at both meals on medical grounds.

A highly-placed official from the state Correctional Services Department said that as per practices for years, an inmate is offered rice at lunch and chapati at dinner.

“However, Chatterjee requested that rice be served both at lunch and dinner. But we are unable to do that since as per direction of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar, Chatterjee is diabetic and hence excessive consumption of rice is not good for his health. We have informed him about the obligations on this count and since then, he did not make the plea again. He was offered fish on Sunday like other inmates as per correction home rules that non-vegetarian food is served on Sundays,” he said.

However, following the repeated requests by Chatterjee, arrested in the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam, the authorities have agreed to provide him with a cot in his cell.

Earlier, he was provided with four blankets. Chatterjee was using two as a mattress and the other two as pillows. However, Chatterjee repeatedly requested the jail authorities to provide him with a cot since because of heavy body structure and weight, he has had immense problems lying on the ground. From Sunday night he had been provided with a cot at his cell.

Apart from that the prison authorities have denied any other special treatment to Chatterjee as a former minister.

The cell number 2 of ward number 22 of Presidency Central Correctional Home is fitted with a ceiling fan and Chatterjee’s plea for a table fan was also denied by the prison authorities. This particular ward of the correctional home is high security ward and prison authorities keep a close vigil round-the-clock.

It is learnt that Chatterjee has become totally silent since he came to this prison on Friday night and most of the time, he is lying with his eyes closed. He will be presented at the special court of Public Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on August 18 again.

His close associate Arpita Mukherjee, who has been housed at the Alipore Women Correctional Home will also be presented at the same court on the same day.

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