VK Sasikala, who had seemed within reach of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s seat a week ago, is now serving her four-year sentence at the Parappana Agrahara Central Jail in Bengaluru. After she surrendered on Wednesday evening along with co-accused and sister-in-law Ilavarasi, public interest in Sasikala’s life behind bars is peaking. Here are ten things you need to know about her stint behind bars so far.
1. Sasikala is prisoner number 9234, while sister-in-law Ilavarasi and nephew Sudhakaran have been allotted prisoner numbers 9235 and 9236 respectively, reports Telegraph.
2. All three will be treated as B-class prisoners after the judge rejected Sasikala’s plea seeking Class-1 facilities. Sasikala was also denied other privileges including home-cooked food, private television, non-vegetarian food twice a week and a special room for prayers and yoga. She has been given no luxuries besides a fan, a blanket and a pillow. She was also given three white sarees along with blouses to wear.
3. With no cot, Sasikala spent the night on the cold, hard floor of the 10x8 prison cell, reports NDTV. Sharing her cell with Ilavarasi, Sasikala reportedly spent a sleepless first night in jail on Wednesday.
4. While several reports suggest that the AIADMK interim General Secretary did not feel like having dinner at 6.30pm on Wednesday evening, it was Ilavarasi who coaxed her to eat some curd rice. Like all other inmates, she was given puliyodharai (tamarind rice) along with coffee for breakfast, and chapathi and a bowl of rice with curry for lunch, reports Times of India.
5. AIADMK's Karnataka Unit Secretary V Pughazhendhi told IANS that Sasikala woke up at 5am on Thursday, did yoga and walked in the barracks for a while. She also reportedly read two Tamil newspapers.
6. Sharing the cell next to Sasikala and Ilavarasi is Cyanide Mallika, a serial killer who would kill women for gold in temples. Bangalore Mirror reports that Cyanide Mallika tried to strike up a conversation with Sasikala but she refused to respond. However, on Thursday, when Mallika attempted to make conversation again, Sasikala reportedly smiled.
7. Sasikala also reportedly refused to sit in the police jeep, choosing instead to walk to the prison premises, the day she surrendered. Quoting a source, Bangalore Mirror reports that Sasikala said, “I am not a petty thief. I will not sit in police jeep. I will sit in the jail cell, but I will not sit like a criminal in an open police jeep. I will walk any distance. Despite being instructed, she chose to walk the distance.”
8. According to TOI, Sasikala met with her team of lawyers on Thursday. Vivek Jayaraman, Ilavarasi’s son was also present. Meanwhile, the newspaper also reports that Sasikala’s husband Natarajan is staying at a hotel in Bengaluru.
9. Like other inmates, Sasikala will have to make candles or agarbathis during her stay in prison, and will be given Rs 50 per day as wages, reports TOI.
10. Sasikala may not have to serve her entire four-year imprisonment, reports New Indian Express. While she has already spent 35 days in prison for the DA case, the newspaper reports that 451 days can be reduced from her prison term as remission depending on prison authorities.