Tihar officials relieved, praise Anna

August 19th, 2011 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) Officials at the Tihar Jail were a relieved lot Friday as a fasting Anna Hazare finally left the premises after four days. But they were full of praise for the Gandhian “guest”.

A senior jail official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Hazare, 74, spearheading an anti-corruption campaign, was well-behaved and disciplined during his stay at the prison.

“He was not a prisoner but a guest who was staying here, so we had to take care of him,” said the official.

Jail officials said the problem began for them as hundreds of Hazare supporters gathered at all gates of the prison, effectively blocking the complex.

“This was unexpected. The whole prison was almost cordoned off,” said the official.

Within hours of his arrest and jailing Tuesday, Hazare was ordered released. But he refused to go until he was allowed to fast in support of a strong anti-corruption legislation on his terms.

That did happen, and Hazare left the prison Friday morning to Ramlila ground.

The jail official recalled Hazare’s days in prison.

“Once he was declared a free man, he was moved to prison headquarters where he was provided a room. He ended up spending three nights. We were on toes to ensure that everything was under control.”

All senior prison officials were present whenever doctors checked the fasting Hazare.

Hazare’s supporters kept pouring outside. The crowds swelled Wednesday, disrupting food supplies.

“This aggravated the pressure on us. On Wednesday, supply of vegetables and milk was. We, however, managed to transport prisoners to the court for hearing in their cases.”

The protests also hit traffic in and around the prison, including the areas of Janakpuri, Mayapuri and Hari Nagar.

With public transport going off the roads, some Tihar personnel walked two to three kilometres to report for work.

One official who usually gets around 50 phone calls a day said the number went up to 500. Many of the callers were journalists.

“Till this morning I did not have time to receive calls from my family,” said the relieved official.

Related Stories

Posted in Uncategorized |

Subscribe