Since Friday night, cell number 2 of ward number 22 of the Presidency Central Correctional Home has become the abode of once heavyweight West Bengal minister and the Trinamool Congress’ virtual second-in-command, Partha Chatterjee. However, the prison authorities have denied any kind of special or preferential treatment to him as a former minister.
However, the authorities of the Alipore Women Correctional Home, where Chatterjee’s close aide in the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam, Arpita Mukherjee had been lodged, has shown a comparatively softer approach towards her.
Prison Department sources said that the cell of Chatterjee neither has any cot nor any chair. Chatterjee, on Friday night, provided with two blankets like the other inmates, two of which he used as mattresses and the other two as pillows. However, the cell is fitted with a ceiling fan.
In contrast, Arpita Mukherjee has been provided with a slightly bigger and airy room and separate mattress at Alipore Correctional Home. “This room was mainly used for conducting vocational courses for our female inmates. There had been strict instruction from the special court of Public Money Laundering Act, utmost focus should be given on the safety and basic amenities for her. The jail staff are keeping a close watch on her round the clock,” said a state Correctional Department official.
On Friday night, Chatterjee was offered chapatis and vegetables, which he consumed without any reaction. On Saturday morning, he was offered tea and bread like other inmates which he also did not refuse. For lunch he had rice, lentils, and vegetables again.
On the other hand, although Mukherjee refused dinner on Friday night, she had breakfast and lunch on Saturday.
Both Chatterjee and Mukherjee are using the common toilet allocated for the inmates in the respective ward. The common factor in the two are that both have become totally silent since the time they were brought to the correction homes on Friday night.
On Friday, after the PMLA Court ordered 14 days of judicial custody for the duo, Trinamool Congress’ state General Secretary and party spokesman Kunal Ghosh had been vocal about probable special treatment to Partha Chatterjee. “If I come to know that he is being given any special treatment, I will register my protest again,” he said.