No VIP treatment in jail for Varun, but gets homemade food


Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh) : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Varun Gandhi, who was sent to jail here Saturday for his inflammatory speeches, did not get VIP treatment in prison but was provided homemade food for dinner, a prison official said.

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“Due to security reasons, we have kept him in a separate cell but besides homemade food, no additional facilities are being provided to him,” Jail Superintendent Mukesh Arora told IANS.

The permission to provide him food made outside the jail was granted Saturday by the court that sent him to judicial custody until March 30.

A BJP worker brought the food, which was given to Varun Gandhi at around 7 p.m. after the jail pharmacist and doctor examined it.

“After conducting the final checking at 7.30 p.m., we left his cell for the day,” Arora said.

“His personal behaviour was very good, but his supporters created a ruckus til late (Saturday) evening outside the jail,” he added.

Two armed policemen have been deployed outside his cell in Pilibhit, around 350 km from Lucknow.

A Pilibhit court sent Varun to jail until Monday for allegedly making hate speeches amid clashes between party workers and the police Saturday. The court ruling came shortly after the BJP candidate from Pilibhit said he was “ready to go to jail” over the reported anti-Muslim speeches that he denies having made.

Hundreds of BJP supporters followed the police vehicle in which Gandhi was taken away from the court. A few of them were seen clinging to the vehicle and climbing onto its bonnet, making it difficult for the policemen to drive.

The police then opened fire, injuring three people.

Gandhi courted controversy after his speeches, that had derogatory references to Muslims, gained media attention. Gandhi maintains that the speeches, whose recorded copies were aired repeatedly on television, were doctored.

The Election Commission came down heavily on him and suggested that he should not be fielded as a candidate in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP refused to do that and questioned the Election Commission’s jurisdiction to suggest that.

On Friday, Gandhi withdrew his bail application from the Delhi High Court and decided to surrender.

The Election Commission wants criminal charges to be filed against him for his speeches.

Asked if the BJP saw Gandhi as the new Hindutva poster-boy and star campaigner, party leader Kalraj Misra said Saturday: “He (Varun) is just a party worker and our candidate from Pilibhit and he will be utilised according to his capabilities.”

Around 50 BJP workers were also arrested here Saturday after they blocked roads and clashed with the police while waiting for Gandhi. They were charged with unlawful assembly.