Former Games chief adjusts to prison life


Staff member
New Delhi: He slept in a separate cell, attended a roll call at 6am, stood in queue for breakfast, watched some TV and at times conversed with two other inmates. Suresh Kalmadi, the latest high-profile entrant at Tihar Central Jail, is not getting any VIP treatment in India's largest prison and has made no special requests either, authorities said on Thursday.

Kalmadi, an MP and former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief, was visited by his wife and son yesterday, a day after he was remanded for 14 days in judicial custody along with his aides A.S.V. Prasad and Surjeet Lal.

"He woke up and attended the roll call with other inmates at 6am. At 7am, he stood in the queue for breakfast where he was given two bread slices, one sabzi and a cup of tea. He was also given newspapers," Sunil Gupta, Tihar spokesperson, told IANS.

Kalmadi, used to the comforts of the high life, is now lodged in Ward No 15 in Jail No 4. He has been given a separate cell for security reasons.

Huge fall

This is a huge fall for a man who frequently ordered food from luxury hotels while preparing for the Commonwealth Games.

No special requests have come from Kalmadi's side and he is following the prison routine. All three were sent to judicial custody till May 18 by the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court for their alleged involvement in irregularities related to the organisation of the 2010 Delhi Games.

According to the CBI, Kalmadi was arrested for allegedly buying TSR (timing scoring and result) equipment from a Swiss firm, Swiss Timing, at an inflated price of Rs1.41 billion (Dh115.2 million).

And he does have high-profile company in Tihar. Over the last two months, the jail has welcomed several top officials in both the public and private sectors.

Lodged there in connection with the 2G spectrum scam are A. Raja, former communications minister; Siddharth Behura, former telecom secretary; Shahid Balwa, D.B. Realty chief; his cousin Asif Balwa and his partner Vinod Goenka, Unitech's Sanjay Chandra and top officials of the Reliance ADAG group.