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4-min read

Sasikala, Qaidi No 9235, Will Make Candles in Bangalore Jail

A day after the Supreme Court restored her conviction in the 20-year-old disproportionate assets (DA) case, 'Chinnamma' Sasikala was sent to serve time at the Parappana Agrahara central jail in Bengaluru, minutes after she surrendered before a magistrate court.

Imran Khan | CNN-News18

Updated:February 15, 2017, 9:37 PM IST
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Sasikala, Qaidi No 9235, Will Make Candles in Bangalore Jail
A screen grab of Sasikala who was lodged in Bangalore central jail on Wednesday. (CNN-News18)
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Bengaluru: A day after the Supreme Court restored her conviction in the 20-year-old disproportionate assets (DA) case, 'Chinnamma' Sasikala was sent to serve time at the Parappana Agrahara central jail in Bengaluru, minutes after she surrendered before a magistrate court.

Before her surrender, Sasikala paid homage to late Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa and party patriarch MG Ramachandran -- a scene that had its own dramatic moments. At the gravesite of Jayalalithaa, Sasikala folded her hands in prayer, then suddenly bent down to slap the grave in agitation, as if taking a pledge. She murmured to herself, but the video of her dusting her hands as she stood up again went viral and had people reading their own inferences to this.

By 5 pm, Sasikala reached the Bangalore Central Jail, the largest and most crowded in Karnataka -- this jail is spread over an area of 40 acres and reportedly houses 4,400 inmates, twice its capacity. Established in 1997, it is located in a suburb called 'Parappana Agrahara' in south-east Bengaluru.

The jurisdictional police had started making security preparations nearly three hours before Sasikala reached. Her husband M Natarajan, a former government employee, and AIADMK MP M Thambidurai,too, were there ahead of her.

On Wednesday, the magistrate court had shifted to the premises of the jail to hear the case so as to avoid any law and order or traffic hassles, considering the sensitivity of the case. The jail is just off the highway that connects Chennai to Bengaluru.

Also read: TV, Mattress, Table Fan and 2 Cell Mates: What's in Store for Sasikala in Prison

Soon after her surrender, Sasikala was then registered as qaidi number 9235, while Ilavarasi, her niece, was given the number 9236. 'Chinnamma,' who almost became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu last week, will be housed in cell number 2, which she will share with two other inmates.

Male prisoners in the jail dress in white coarse cotton shirts and pyjamas, while the women wear sarees. Sasikala and Ilavarasi will be given three saris each.

Yasin Bhatkal -- co-founder of terror group Indian Mujahideen -- is scheduled to be brought to the same jail in connection with the Chinnaswamy Stadium blast.

Among other high-profile inmates, who have served their jail term or have been to the same jail, are former Karnataka CM B S Yeddyurappa and his ex-cabinet colleagues Gali Janardhana Reddy and Krishniah Setty who spent more than 20 days in October 2011 over a Lokayukta report on illegal mining.

This, however, is not the first time when Sasikala is lodged at this jail.

Also Read: Sasikala's Nephew Dinakaran, Sacked by Jaya, Returns as AIADMK Dy Gen Secy

In 2014, Sasikala, along with her nephew V N Sudhakaran and sister-in-law Ilavarasi, had spent 21 days in Parappana Agrahara central jail. Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi are the co-convicts in the DA case.

At the time, the jail played host to J Jayalalithaa too, who was serving a term at the same place after being sentenced to four years by a special court that tried all four of them.

In fact, Sasikala sought to be housed in the same cell as Jaya was at the time, or the one next to it -- this request was denied.

Prison sources told CNN-News18 that no special treatment will be meted to Sasikala, Sudhakaran, and Ilavarasi. They will not be treated as political prisoners or VIPs. Her requests for an air-conditioner and home-cooked food were also denied.

Also Read: My Thoughts With Party Even From Jail, Says Sasikala Hours Before Surrender

She has been given a mattress, a table fan, and a bucket. Though her request for a television was initially not considered, prison officials decided to accord her restricted access to a television. Meal times are strict -- breakfast at 6.30am, lunch at 11.30am, and tea at 4 pm and dinner at 6.30pm.

In all likelihood, she will be tasked in one of the prison units to make candles or incense sticks -- and paid Rs 50 a day for this labour. She has been convicted for having accumulated a wealth worth Rs 66 crore, which is disproportionate to her known sources of income.

Whether she will really have the time to keep to her late Tuesday promise that "even if she is put in a cage, she will continue to work 24 hours for the party," is something to be seen.

Amar Koria, a lawyer appearing for her, said they won't make any more appeals to the Supreme Court. "She has surrendered, and will serve her jail term," he told reporters.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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