Probably realising that days behind the bars is inevitable and might be indefinite, former heavyweight West Bengal minister and Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee has started showing attempts to acclimatise himself with the prison life.
The medium for Chatterjee, tainted in the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam, in his attempt to get accustomed with the life behind the bars, is reading spiritual books and noting down his daily experiences in the prison days.
The authorities of the Presidency Central Correctional Home have approved his request for being supplied with a copy of Sri Paratha Ramakrishna Kathamrita, a collection of conversation and activities of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Sukanya Bhattacharya, one of the counsels of Chatterjee came to the correctional home during the visiting hours on Monday and handed over a copy of the collection, considered by millions of followers of Ramakrishna Paramhansa worldwide as the ultimate spiritual nectar for achieving mental peace.
On Monday, his counsel also handed over to him some papers and a pair of pens as requested by him. State correctional department sources said that the former minister is reputedly jotting down his daily experiences during his prison days. Since Friday night Chatterjee has been shaved once by the prison barber, who retained the former minister’s trimmed and well-shaped French-cut beard.
Since the day his prison term started, Chatterjee has limited his conversation to a bare minimum. He was once heard telling jail officials that he would not have seen such days had he not joined politics after quitting his high- profile corporate job. Chatterjee joined full-fledged politics with the Trinamool Congress before the 2001 West Bengal Assembly elections quitting his job as the general manager of Andrew Yule Group. His specialisation was human resources development.
Meanwhile, Chatterjee’s close aide, Arpita Mukherjee, who has been housed at the adjacent Alipore Women Correctional Home, is reportedly receiving unexpected cooperation from her fellow inmates there, who are taking the trouble of washing her clothes.
“She has been housed deliberately in a cell where her closest inmates are those who are well- mannered ones as per the prison records. They are trying to make her stay as comfortable as possible,” said a state correctional services department official.
Both Chatterjee and Mukherjee will be presented at a special court of Public Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on August 18.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)