Ranchi, Oct. 5: Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad began Durga paath (prayers) today, the first day of Navratra, in his upper division room at Birsa Munda Central Jail where the VIP prisoner has been lodged since September 30.
“He took a bath early in the morning and started Durga Saptashati paath in his room around 9.30am. His neighbour and co-accused R.K. Rana (former Janata Dal MLA) assisted him. He spent around two hours praying to the goddess,” a jail source told The Telegraph.
The former railway minister, who was serving a 5year sentence after a conviction in a fodder scam case, is also on a strict non-vegetarian diet, having asked for food without onion and garlic during the nine-day-long festival.
“He asked for a packet of corn flakes, which has been provided to him,” said a jail officer. Sources revealed that Lalu’s wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi was keen on visiting him in prison tomorrow.
But, the RJD chief had passed on a message through aides, asking her to come after the festivities as there was “no hurry”.
RJD workers maintained that Lalu and his family observed Navratra every year at his Patna residence.
The prisoner number 1528, allotted to Lalu last evening by the jail administration, appeared hale and hearty today, but did not meet many visitors.
Apparently aware of a PIL filed in Jharkhand High Court alleging several “violations” of the provisions of the Bihar jail manual, the former Bihar chief minister has apparently decided to keep a low profile and meet visitors only after 3pm.