Raja has jail food, sleeps on floor

New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) Former telecom minister A Rajahad jail food, slept on the floor during his first night inTihar prisons and was up at 6 AM today to attend the roll calllike any other prisoner.

The 47-year-old high-profile inmate of Jail No.1,arrested for his alleged role in the 2G spectrum allocationscam, is mostly keeping to himself, a senior jail officialsaid.

"The former minister did not hesitate to eat foodcooked inside the prison kitchens. He ate rice, dal, rajma andvegetables in dinner. He was provided seven blankets to makehis bed on the floor and did now throw any tantrums," he said,adding Raja was not given any special treatment.

The minister is sharing the ward with former Delhi ACPS S Rathi, convicted in the 1997 Connaught Place shootoutcase, and other prisoners.

Rathi is serving life term following his conviction bya Delhi trial court on October 24, 2007 in the case of killingof two businessmen.

"Raja followed the prison rules and woke up at 6 AMtoday. He went through all the English dailies before havinghis morning tea. He did not interact with any prisoner afterentering his ward and kept reading," the official said.

But today, he went out of his cell for a strollinside the prison premises. He spoke to Ravi Kant Sharma, whois serving a life sentence for the murder of journalistShivani Bhatnagar, the official said.

After sustained custodial interrogation for 14 days atthe CBI headquarters, Raja was yesterday sent to Tihar Jailunder judicial custody by a Delhi court till March 3.

Raja, who resigned in November last year followinguproar over the scam, was arrested on February 2 along withformer Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and his formerpersonal secretary R K Chandolia for their alleged role in 2Gspectrum allocation scam, which, as per CBI, has caused apecuniary loss of Rs 22,000 crore to the state exchequer.

The former minister is alleged to have manipulatedrules to favour some telecom companies, including Swan Telecomand Unitech Private Limited, in allocation of the spectrum atthrowaway prices.

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