New Delhi, June 15: For Tihars 2G inmates, life in jail has become cooler, but lonelier.
Tihar authorities have installed air-coolers outside the cells of the celebrity jailbirds following persistent requests from the high-profile prisoners.
We provided them with air-coolers as the heat is becoming too much to bear. We do give some consideration to high-profile inmates, said a senior official.
But the soft caress of cool breeze hasnt been able to wipe the pain of separation.
The accused in the telecom scam have been missing the seven-hour daily meetings with their families since the 2G special court hearing the spectrum case closed for summer break last week.
The summer break has proved to be more of a bane than a boon for our husbands. They have become very depressed now…. Air-coolers cannot make them happy, said the wife of a top executive who has been cooling his heels in Tihar for over a month.
The court, which closed for over three weeks last Friday, would reopen on July 4. The break means all the 13 accused, including former telecom minister A. Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and the scam-accused telecom bosses, will not be produced before the court at 10 in the morning, six days a week, till the court reopens.
The daily 10am-5pm routine — except Sundays — gave the families of the accused the chance to sit with them and cheer them up.
They used to feel very happy to see us. We kept them in good humour by cracking jokes and they felt good, the wife of the jailed executive said.
Till the court reopens, the accused will have to be content with meeting their families just twice a week for 35 minutes.
According to the jail manual, up to three persons, including the wife, can meet an accused at a time. The meetings take place in the visitors room in the presence of a policeman who stands at a distance, Tihar law officer Sunil Gupta said.
A relative of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, an accused in the case, said even the air-conditioned courtroom was a blessing in disguise for the high-profile accused. After spending nights in their cramped cells, they used to look forward to reaching the courtroom so they could meet their loved ones in a cosy atmosphere…. It was a big relief for all of us.
Friday, the last working day of the special court before the summer break, was particularly painful as the families of the 2G accused hugged them and broke down before they were led to the court lock-up to be taken back to jail.
Happy vacation, Papa, said the daughter of one of the accused.