Sasikala, who hoped to spend the next four years shaping the governance of Tamil Nadu as chief minister, will now be spending those four years shaping candles. The AIADMK general secretary will spend her time in incarceration at the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison engaged in her allotted task of making candles for a daily wage of Rs 50.
Having been used to luxuries in life, Sasikala, who has been convicted in the disproportionate assets case, will now live a spartan life in the prison located on the outskirts of Bengaluru city. She will be given a cot, a mattress and a table fan, and will have to share her jail cell with two other women. She will get three sarees to use during her prison life.
Not the first time that Sasikala will be housed in this jail, she had spent 21 days in Parappana Agrahara prison in 2014, when she was convicted along with her predecessor in the party, the late J Jayalalithaa, by the trial court in the same case (a verdict that the high court overturned, but the Supreme court yesterday upheld). Sasikala and the other two accused, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran were given the prisoner numbers 7403, 7404 and 7405 and housed in the VIP cells.
Jayalalithaa, at the time, had been allotted the VVIP cell number 23. While Sasikala and Ilavarasi were assigned a cell together, Sudhakaran was put up in a VIP cell next to former Karnataka Tourism Minister and mining baron G Janardhana Reddy, who was serving time around the same time.
Reports suggest that this time Sasikala had requested the cell that Jayalalithaa was allotted in 2014 but was denied. Although the court has denied her VVIP treatment and an air-conditioned room, Sasikala has made specific requests for a few facilities like a toilet with a western closet, warm water and 24-hour access to medical facilities, to ease her stay in jail for the next four years. She has also requested some space for meditation. The court will decide on these requests.
Here's how life in Parappana Agrahara looks like:
The central prison, established in 1997 in an isolated location in Parappana Agrahara village, consists of huge perimeter walls with barbed-wire fencing and granite blocks housing the prisoners' cells. The prison reportedly has a library with numerous books and periodicals for the prisoners to read.
High-profile or high-risk prisoners such as VIPs, politicians, criminals, dons, murderers and drug peddlers have been lodged in the cells of the special security wings over the last few years.
Male prisoners are dressed in white coarse cotton shirts and pajamas while women are dressed in white sarees.
The prisoners, who include both convicts and undertrials, work in small makeshift units, like candle making, wood work, khadi weaving and so on to earn daily wages.