After being sentenced to three and half years in jail in the second fodder scam case, RJD chief Lalu Prasad will be shifted from the Birsa Munda jail in Ranchi to the open jail in Hazaribagh soon. This comes in the wake of the recommendation made by the special CBI judge Shiv Pal Singh, who mentioned in the 101 pages order sheet to shift all the 16 convicts in the fodder case to open jail.
India Today on Sunday reached the open jail in Hazaribagh and found that preparations were going on to welcome Lalu and others in the jail.
The open jail which was inaugurated in November 2013 has 100 small cottages each having one room, a kitchen and an attached bathroom. Sources in the jail informed that the size of the cottage was enough to house the prisoner and his wife and a minor child.
It may be mentioned that while the sentencing was going on Saturday in the e-court, few convicts citing old age and poor health prayed for minimum punishment. It is then that Shiv Pal Singh remarked that he will be recommending all convicts to be sent to open jail where they can live with their family, if they wished.
The judge also commented that the open jail had many cows and buffalos grazing inside all the time and, therefore, all the 16 convicts, including Lalu, would be at ease there as they are all accused in the fodder scam. It appears that after this remark of the judge, the Hazaribagh jail administration had decided to bring a dozen cows and buffalos in the jail before the RJD chief’s arrival.
“More than two dozens cattle are being brought in the jail soon. The jail is spread over 20 acres and has enough area for the cattle to graze,” said Shankar Ram, guard of the jail.