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Yashwant lodged in high-security cell

Hazaribagh, June 9: Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has a long association with the historic Loknayak Jai Prakash Narayan Centre Jail, where the former MP has been lodged since June 4.

The former external affairs minister had visited this jail as a distinguished guest in November 2001 when then vice-president of India K. Kant renamed the Hazaribagh central prison after freedom fighter Jai Prakash Narayan.

The jail, with a high-security zone popularly known as Anda Cell, hogged headlines when 13 hardcore Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists were brought here from Jammu in 2002 for security reasons.

The same Anda Cell is currently hosting Sinha, who was sent here on 14-day remand by a Hazaribagh court in a case related to a power stir. As many as 53 BJP workers, who were arrested along with him, are occupying other units in this block, comprising 12 cells and a godown.

“Sinha is lodged in cell No. 7 — a 10x12ft unit,” jailer Chandra Shekhar Suman told The Telegraph.

Sources said considering Sinha’s stature, the authorities had decided to keep the BJP stalwart and other party workers in this part of the jail.

“Former chief minister Madhu Koda sustained serious injuries during a clash at Birsa Munda Central Jail, Ranchi, in October 2011. So, we didn’t take any chance,” said a senior jail officer.

According to sources, a former IAS officer, Sinha has been maintaining a healthy routine inside the jail. He wakes up around 6am and does yoga for half an hour. Then he reads newspapers to keep track of the happenings outside the jail.

A BJP worker said Sinha had been following the jail manual strictly. Like others, he uses supply water, which comes twice a day — once in the morning and another in the evening for two hours each. He has also refused to take food brought from outside. High-profile visitors have been bringing fruits for him but he is distributing everything among party workers.