|Gali Janardhan Reddy
Hyderabad, Aug. 28: The superintendent of Chanchalguda jail, where former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy has been lodged since his arrest on charges of illegal mining, has been shunted out for alleged preferential treatment of the VIP inmate.
Keshav Naidu is the latest among several officials who have got into trouble over dealings with the mining baron, arrested last September.
Earlier, IAS officer Y. Srilakshmi and Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation MD V.D. Rajagopal were jailed in connection with the illegal mining case.
Three judges were also jailed over allegations of granting bail in return for cash.
Naidu has been removed as principal of the State Institute of Correctional Administration following allegations of favouring Reddy with concessions and “comforts” in return for bribes.
Sources in the prisons department said that on the orders of Naidu, the jailed tycoon — prisoner No. 697 — was given special bed sheets and towels dry-cleaned daily (at his own expense) besides services of a cook, an attendant and a computer assistant to handle letters and notes to advocates.
Reddy was also reportedly provided with the services of a masseuse twice a week. “Fruits, liquor and non-vegetarian food were smuggled besides fresh bread, biscuits and chocolates as and when he demanded,” said a prison warden.
Sources said the authorities cracked the whip after they came to know recently how Reddy’s 46th birthday was celebrated in January. Special food was cooked and distributed to all the convicts while pujas were held at the Sai Baba temple on the jail premises, all at the expense of the mining baron.
“A special party was also hosted for Reddy in the jailor’s bungalow,” said a source.
With Naidu transferred, Reddy may now find it difficult to get VIP treatment. But MLA Suresh Babu, who is also in the same jail in connection with the bribery case, thinks nothing is impossible. “We will find a way out to give some benefits to our leader even in jail,” Babu said.
Reddy’s brother Gali Somasekhar Reddy, also an MLA, and another relative, Dasharatharama Reddy, are in the same prison.