A table fan, an attached toilet, some books and a blanket — these are former state education minister Partha Chatterjee’s companions in jail. Accused in the West Bengal SSC scam, Chatterjee — who was in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for 14 days — is now lodged in cell number two of the Presidency Correctional Institution.
The ousted general secretary of the Trinamool Congress, Chatterjee has a table fan in his cell and an attached toilet. Chatterjee’s clothes, which were with the ED, have been handed over to the jail authorities along with his books. According to a source in the jail, a blanket has been given to the minister and he spends his time reading after spreading the blanket on the floor.
Since Chatterjee is a diabetic, he is subject to several restrictions. On Saturday morning, he was given tea and biscuits for breakfast and rice, pulses, and vegetables for his lunch. According to jail authorities, the former minister is doing well. However, the drastic change from the lavish lifestyle of his Naktala house to a gloomy, dilapidated jail cell has made the former minister very depressed and discreet.
Sources said a CCTV camera was installed in cell number two on Sunday. Other high-profile convicts like Aftab Ansari is in the cell above Chatterjee’s, while Jamaluddin Nasser is in another ward. However, Chatterjee is mostly seen sleeping in his cell.
The jail source added that there is an increase in the swelling in Chatterjee’s leg and doctors in jail are keeping an eye but there is no plan yet to admit him to the prison hospital. Sources said it is difficult for Chatterjee to sit on the ground due to obesity. On Sunday morning, he came out of the cell only once after having breakfast in the morning and met his lawyer. He was permitted to sleep on the floor on his first night in jail but on humanitarian grounds, he was given a cot.