Lalu shifted from bungalow to hospital

Lalu shifted from bungalow to hospital

Jailed RJD president Lalu Prasad was on Thursday shifted back to his hospital room from the British-era bungalow within Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) that allegedly provided him the scope to be an active player in Bihar politics before and after the elections, reports Gaurav Pandey. Lalu’s return to room number 11 of the hospital’s paying ward coincided with allegations that he tried to offer inducements to at least two other senior BJP functionaries over phone, besides former deputy CM Sushil Modi.
The ailing RJD president and former Bihar chief minister had been moved to Kelly’s Bungalow – a single-floor bungalow with four bedrooms, two dining spaces, a study, two large verandahs and a kitchen — on August 5 after the ward he was in became part of a Covid-19 treatment centre.
Police sources said Lalu was shifted back to the hospital ward after Ranchi DC Chhavi Ranjan asked Birsa Munda jail superintendent Hamid Akhtar if and why the RJD chief was allowed to use a phone during his stay in the bungalow, which is supposed to be the official residence of the RIMS director. “I have asked the jail authorities to submit a clarification at the earliest,” Ranjan said. Akhtar said Lalu had been shifted back to the ward on the recommendation of the team of doctors treating him.
“We received a letter from the RIMS medical superintendent on Thursday morning, requesting us to shift the high-class prisoner Lalu Prasad back to the paying ward.”
The Jharkhand government had ordered a probe on Wednesday after Sushil Modi released an audio clip purportedly containing Lalu’s voice during the alleged phone call to him. IGP (prisons) Virendra Bhusan said he had asked the DC to initiate action against those responsible for the breach, if found to be true.
Convicted in multiple fodder scam cases in December 2017, Lalu was at Birsa Munda central jail in Ranchi for about two months before he was shifted to RIMS on health grounds. He was referred to AIIMS Delhi for some months before being sent back to RIMS in May 2018.
The Jharkhand BJP said Lalu being shifted back to the hospital ward meant the allegations against him were true. The party requested the Jharkhand high court to take suo motu cognisance of the alleged violation of jail rules by Lalu under the patronage of the Hemant Soren government.

Asia