Rs 30 Lakh On Himself, Homemade Parathas, Massage…Atiq..

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Rs 30 Lakh On Himself, Homemade Parathas, Massage…Atiq Was A King in Sabarmati Jail

| Updated: April 17, 2023 19:45

“I will not come back now.” These were gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed’s prophetic words long before he was shot dead by three criminals in the guise of media professionals in Prayagraj on Saturday. Even as the unlawful act is being condemned – it’s feared that democracy is under severe threat in India – Atiq’s four years in Sabarmati jail has come into sharp focus.

It has emerged that Atiq, a five-time MLA and one-time MP, would spend Rs 30 lakhs a month to get facilities of his choice in Sabarmati. The Sabarmati jail also facilitated his lavish lifestyle by spending an exorbitant amount. 

Interestingly, the arrangement was that the Uttar Pradesh government would meet his expenses in Sabarmati Jail. The expenses included his food, stay, light bill and the jail personnel. The UP government paid the initial amount of Rs one-and-a-half lakhs before stopping the funds. Only a few days ago, the Sabarmati Jail Administration raised a bill of Rs 40 lakhs to the UP government but the payment is pending. 

Atiq, however, lived like an emperor in Sabarmati Jail. While he would often complain about ill-treatment in prison, the privileges he enjoyed behind the bars were princely. Four of his trusted men were stationed outside the jail for 24 hours. Before the Prayagraj court sentenced him on March 27, Atiq was kept as an undertrial prisoner in an egg cell (a high-security prison cell). Many prisoners there were at his service. After the sentence, Atiq was kept as a prisoner in a 10 x 10 barrack for a week. The jail’s high officials would monitor the barracks through CCTV. 

Still, he could forge special bonds with the jail officers, so much so that one official would serve him homemade parathas. 

The Sabarmati Jail also acted as his rehabilitation centre. He weighed over 100 kg, had multiple ailments, and was administered medicines. But he continued to avail of incomprehensible pleasures in prison in the form of body massage, clothes, food of his choice, and a company to talk to. 

Despite his actions being monitored closely, he could operate his network from jail. Even from behind the bars, he could make calls and extort money. The UP police, in possession of the videos of his activities, sought an explanation from the Sabarmati Jail Administration. In fact, on four occasions in 2019, mobile phones were recovered from him. It should come as no surprise that no action has been taken against the perpetrators.

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