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Tihar Jail DG sacked for own statue in prison

New Delhi, Aug 9 (): Tihar Jail is in news for various reasons but this time the reason is very bizarre.

DG Tihar prisons Vimala Mehra IPS was given marching orders since she erected a statue of herself inside the prison and made prisoners pray the ‘Mata’. The cost of the statue is Rs 30 lakhs and it was taken from the prison fund.

A Delhi-based newspaper reported this in May and ex-MP Veena Verma wrote to PM with a copy of the media report and listed some practices initiated by her as part of reforms leading to protests. The marble statue with a granite base and christened `Vimala Maa ‘ had prisoners coming and bowing and praying.

It is not known whether VIP inmates like Sahara Chief Subroto Roy did this as it was installed in January 2014. The DG even had a photo of the statue printed in the Tihar in-house magazine. Earlier, inmates like Kanimozhi and A Raja escaped from this ritual. LG Delhi and MHA had taken note of this after PMO sent the complaint to them.

LG Delhi Jung under whose control the Tihar jail comes issued a fax with a curt note that said she stands relieved. It means she need not wait for her successor but hand over charge to next in command immediately.

Tihar’s first DG was Kiran Bedi and Mehra is the second. As per prison manual, a prisoner cannot have outside food but Mehra does allow it. Mehra had a fight with ex-Haryana CM Chauthala’s lawyer and stopped the Badals from meeting Chauthala’s son.

Mehra reduced the lawyer- prisoner meet to once a week after the fracas. She had filed a case that her husband, an ex-Delhi Municipal Commissioner had extorted money from her.

The Government will now initiate an inquiry into misuse of prison funds. Incidentally, Veena the ex-MP who complained has her son in Tihar jail for being accused in the Navy war room Leak case and her daughter-in-law was assaulted when she was put in the same prison.