For the 2,500 odd prisoners at Presidency Central Correctional Home in south Kolkata, the coming four days from October 2 to October 5 will be somewhat different from the four days of Durga Puja festival.
The prison authorities will be arranging a special menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner for all 2,500 inmates with the sole aim to somewhat spice up their otherwise mundane lives during the four days of the festive season.
Sources from the state correctional services department said that barring October 3, which is the occasion of “Maha Asthami", there will be sumptuous non-vegetarian meal.
“Bengalis celebrate this special occasion with non-vegetarian food and hence to keep with the tradition, the inmates will be served with sumptuous vegetarian food like khichuri, polao, luchi, dum aloo, paneer masala and navratan korma as decided as yet," said a correctional services department official.
The other three days — Maha Ashtami on Sunday, Maha Navami on Tuesday and Vijaya Dashami on Wednesday, there will be a variety of non-vegetarian delicacies such as mutton biryani, mutton kalia, variety of fish and shrimp items, fried rice and chilli chicken, among others. Rasgullas and Laddus will be there on each day to ensure a sweet ending.
Now the question automatically arises whether this special Puja- days menu is being planned keeping mind the presence of the heavyweight inmate, the former West Bengal education and commerce & industries minister Partha Chatterjee, who is under judicial custody there for his alleged involvement in the multi- crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam,
The correctional home authorities, however, denied that this special arrangement was made keeping the former minister in mind. “On every major occasion, we try to make special arrangements for the inmates to give relief from their otherwise mundane lives. This is nothing new. What is new is that this time the former minister will be among the inmates," the correctional services department official said.
As per the court order, Chatterjee will have to be behind the bars till October 31, which means his entire festive season will be spent there. Incidentally, he will also be spending his 70th birthday in the prison on October 6.