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With broom in hand, Delhi CM Kejriwal starts 2-week Tihar stint

Published:

NEW DELHI:

Arvind Kejriwal

picked up the

broom

(jhadoo, his party’s symbol) on his first day in

Tihar Jail

and swept the floor of his cell and the area around a tree outside on Tuesday morning, said a

jail

source. Otherwise, it was a quiet first night in

prison

for Kejriwal.
Though prison officials described the incarcerated CM as “slightly uncomfortable” in the barracks at night, Kejriwal stuck to his usual routine even in jail.

He didn’t have the regular jail food but was given home-cooked food on the court orders plus his medicines. He woke up early to do some yoga and had the jail breakfast comprising bread and tea. He was then mostly seen walking around in the cell or reading a book. Guards are on alert after inputs suggested that some inmates could try to harm Kejriwal for “fame”.

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Sources said that on Monday night, Kejriwal used only one shawl that he had brought from home, using the rest of the jail issued material for his bedding. From time to time, he paced around in his cell. A jail source said that prison doctors checked the AAP national convener’s blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar level, which were normal. “He was given homemade lunch and then between 3.30pm and 6pm, he came out of his cell and walked, sat and did some reading,” the source added.

According to sources, Kejriwal also talked to his wife and one more family member through a video conference. He also met a lawyer in prison and signed some papers.

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Tihar’s Jail No. 2 has a chequered past. In 2021, an inmate named Srikan Ramaswami was murdered there during a gang war that erupted in the complex. Ramaswami, a resident of Delhi’s Ashok Vihar, had been arrested in a murder case in 2015. The prison authorities told the court that four undertrials beat the criminal with cricket bats around 7am on May 14. Police arrested the four suspects but the Court transferred the investigation of the murder to CBI. The Tihar administration had also recently recovered 33 mobile phones during surprise checks in jail.

Another source added that the CM is lodged in the general ward, where petty criminals are also held, including those accused of thefts, domestic violence, pick pocketing and such crimes. There are also high-security wards in Jail No. 2 where gangsters from the Gogi and Tillu gangs and some militants are lodged. These wards are under heightened security and have heavy barricading.

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Terrorist Zia Ur Rehman is among the known notorious characters lodged in the jail, which has a population of around 600. The adjacent jail, No. 3, is known to hold dreaded criminals and several murders have been reported from there in the last few years. Last April, gangster Prince Tewatia was killed in an early-morning attack in that jail by rival gang members following an altercation with an inmate.
The CM will be in jail for two weeks after being sent into judicial custody by a court on Monday in connection with a case related to the Delhi excise policy of 2021-22.

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