Kolkata: Prabhu Shankar Agarwal, co-owner of the Rs 500 crore Haldiram chain, will spend his days in prison as a semi-skilled labourer for which he will get Rs 21 a day. He has been told to tend to a patch of garden near his solitary cell at Alipore Central Jail. Giving him company will be Rashid Khan, a dreaded gangster convicted for the 1993 Bowbazar blasts which killed 60 people.
Since the bhujia baron has been branded a ‘‘high profile’’ criminal — like Rashid who is also Kolkata’s one-time satta king — he will not be allowed to move freely inside the jail, unlike other convicts.
‘‘We have told him to look after the flower pots and grass outside some rows of cells. We’ll ensure that he doesn’t move out of that spot for security reasons. Such high profile prisoners have to be constantly watched,’’ said B D Sharma, assistant director-general of prisons. Agarwal has been sentenced to life imprisonment for plotting to kill a tea stall owner, and has appealed against the verdict in High Court. Half of the Rs 21 he earns daily will be deposited in his bank account. He can use the rest for his personal needs.
‘‘Agarwal has been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment by the court. This means we have to ensure that he puts in the specified number of working hours,’’ Sharma said.
Another high profile convict in the Bowbazar blasts, Rashid aide Pannalal Jaiswara, has been given a semi-skilled job. He spends his time weaving towels and carpets. Gunjan Ghosh, convicted for kidnapping collegegirl Roma Jhawar, has got a ‘‘skilled’’ job as a writer, and helps with drafting letters, etc., in the jail office. ‘‘That way he is under constant vigil, and he is also able to put his education to good use,’’ Sharma explained.