Retired judge to share roof with 2,000 inmates at Presidency jail

KOLKATA: A white SUV carrying a special prisoner sped past a battery of journalists outside Presidency Correctional Home at 3.15pm on Wednesday.

Retired judge to share roof with 2,000 inmates at Presidency jail

The Presidency jail in Kolkata.The waiting media could hardly get a glimpse of retired Calcutta high court judge CS Karnan, sentenced to six months in jail by the Supreme Court after a long judicial standoff.

Once a judge, he will now be within the British-era Presidency jail’s high walls that hold about 2,000 undertrial prisoners and convicts.

But 62-year-old Karnan was not treated like common prisoners. People in custody are generally sandwiched between policemen. He was allotted the right window seat in the vehicle’s midsection. Karnan is this century’s most high-profile prisoner in Presidency jail, which has seen crucial moments from India’s struggle for Independence.

It was here that “dangerous revolutionary” Aurobindo Ghosh attained divine enlightenment and transformed into Rishi Aurobindo, and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose held his famous hunger strike during the 1940s. It was at a solitary cell called Six Degree, renamed Aurobindo Cell, that Ghosh wrote The Life Divine. Another cell on the first floor of “European Block” is now called Subhas Cell.

Other prominent prisoners were Sarat Chandra Bose, revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and Barindra Kumar Ghosh.

Freedom struggle heroes Kanailal Dutta, Satyendra Nath Bose, Charu Charan Bose, Birendra Nath Dutta Gupta and Gopi Mohan Saha were hanged here.

KARNAN COMPLAINS OF CHEST PAIN

Meanwhile, Karnan was taken to a state-run hospital on Wednesday evening when he complained of chest pain. “Karnan complained of chest pain at the airport itself. He was checked by our doctors there and then brought to the Presidency correctional home where he complained that his chest pain had aggravated,” a senior official at the jail said. Asked if he was likely to be admitted to the hospital, the officer said it depended on doctors conducting the check-up.

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