High-flying Janardhana Reddy is now ordinary prisoner


Hyderabad : Mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy, one of India’s richest politicians, spent his first night at the Chanchalguda Central Jail like an ordinary prisoner, sleeping on the floor with other undertrials, an official said Tuesday.

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The high-profile former Karnataka minister, who is said to fly in his helicopter from Bellary to Bangalore only to have breakfast, had to make do with rice, dal and vegetarian curry for dinner.

Breakfast was khichdi for both Janardhana Reddy and his brother-in-law Srinivasa Reddy, who were arrested Monday for alleged illegal mining.

A jail official said each undertrial was entitled to 600 grams rice, 100 grams dal and 250 grams vegetable curry a day.

Accustomed to a luxurious life in his palatial bungalows, Janardhana Reddy is now sharing crammed accommodation and getting ordinary jail food.

Like other undertrials, Janardhana Reddy will have to stand in queue for food, wash his own plate, clothes and sweep the surroundings.

He was allotted number 697 while his brother-in-law Srinivasa Reddy is prisoner number 696.

The duo were arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) early Monday in Bellary for illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh, brought to Hyderabad and remanded to judicial custody till Sep 19.

According to Chanchalguda Central Jail superintendent Keshav Naidu, the duo spent the night in the barracks of the reception block.

Since there are no court orders for special class prisoner status, jail authorities are treating them like other ordinary prisoners. “They are not getting any special treatment,” said the jail superintendent.

The mining magnate and his kin will be shifted to another barrack Tuesday. Unless their lawyers seek and get special class prisoner status for them, they will have to share the barracks with other petty offenders.

Janardhana Reddy was the Karnataka tourism minister in the cabinet of B.S. Yeddyurappaa, who had to resign recently in the wake of the Lokayukta report. His elder brother G. Karunakara was revenue minister while younger brother G. Somashekara is an assembly member from Bellary.

Disgraced IT czar and former chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ramalinga Raju, who is also lodged in the Chanchalguda Central Jail, enjoys special class prisoner status. He is entitled to better diet and accommodation in a separate enclosure.

Ramalinga Raju and eight other accused in multimillion Satyam accounting fraud are among 700 prisoners in the jail located in the old city and built in 1876.