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Political

Partha Chatterjee not allowed to participate at Puja in jail

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | October 03, 2022 05:07 PM

KOLKATA: While almost 2,500 inmates in Presidency Central Correctional Home in south Kolkata are able to participate in a small puja organised jointly by the authorities and inmates within the jail premises, some high-profile inmates like former West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee will not be able to avail of the facility.

Unlike most inmates, he will have to spend the majority of the time in his cell during the four days of Puja from October 1 to October 5. However, he will not be denied the sumptuous delicacies, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, that the correctional home authorities are arranging for the inmates for the four days of the festival.

Arrested for his alleged involvement in the multi- crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam, Chatterjee will be behind the bars till October 31, when he will be presented at a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court after his current judicial custody ends.

State Correctional Services Department sources said that the former state education minister was keen to participate in the Puja.

"However, considering all security aspects, the correctional home authorities decided to deny him the permission to participate in the occasion. Whatever little time, the former minister is brought out of his cell, he has to face ridicule or taunting messages of his fellow inmates in the correctional home. So, there is a security risk of allowing him to participate in the Puja even through it is within the jail premises. However, the prison authorities are trying their best to take him in front of the Durga idol for a short period of time. But for that they will have to ensure that the other inmates are in their respective cells or wards at that point of time," an official said.

However, he added that Chatterjee will not be the only inmate who has been denied the facility of participation. "Some other inmates like Aftab Ansari, a convict in the case of attack of American Centet in Kolkata in 2022 is yet another Presidency Central Correctional Home inmate not allowed to participate in the Puja," the official added.

 
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