RK Sharma-Raja friendship blooms; Hindi lessons offered

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RK Sharma
New Delhi, Oct 13: With the court passing a verdict in Journalist Shivani Bhatnagar murder case on Wednesday, that saw the acquittal of former senior IPS officer RK Sharma and two others, it has now emerged that Sharma was a close confidante of former Telecom Minister and now jailed A Raja.

Sharma-Raja friendship flourished in the confines of Tihar jail and they became close friends during their stint there. So close their relationship became that Sharma also started giving Hindi lessons to Raja in jail. Sharma was in jail for seven years before being cleared off the taint by the Supreme Court. Staying in a 15x10ft cell in sub-jail one, a jail official commented, "Sharma stayed in a cell adjacent to that of Raja, who arrived here in February this year. The two became friends and Sharma even gave him basic lessons in Hindi."

Raja is serving time in jail under judicial custody for his involvement in the 2G Spectrum scam. Another common factor between both Sharma and Raja is that they share the same lawyer, who is senior advocate Sushil Kumar. He confirmed the blooming friendship between the duo and said, "Yes, Sharma and Raja had become friends. He played badminton with him too."

Sunil Gupta, jail spokesperson commented, "As an undertrial, Sharma stayed in the jail between October 8, 2002 to February 13, 2006 and March 13, 2006 to March 24, 2008."

Sharma was pro-active during his term in Tihar with he taking on the role of a librarian in the sub-jail 1 library. It has been reported that he was inquisitive on the details of the Tihar jail, on RTI, on the facilities for jail inmates, better phone facility and a revision of the wages of convicts.

Sources within the jail revealed, "Sharma also wrote to authorities about relaxing eligibility conditions for grant of parole."

It was also reported that Sharma spoke to fellow inmates and stated that he was confident of his release since he knew that he was innocent. Sharma was also helpful in Tihar, said inmates and was often seen suggesting laws and legal points to them after being requested for help. Some jail officials, however expressed relief at the verdict that acquitted him in the case and with an unnamed source stating, "We were wary of him; he was unpredictable. Having procured bail, he had once insisted on getting released at midnight, something that had never happened before or after."

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