Day one in Tihar: Walk, porridge, some reading and visit from son for Chidambaram

(Eds: updates with details) New Delhi, Sep 6 (PTI) Former Union minister P Chidambaram spent his day in Tihar Jail on Friday reading religious scriptures, meeting his son Karti and his lawyers, and having regular food served in the prison, sources said.After a restless night spent on a wooden plank in his prison cell, the former finance minister began his day with a walk in the courtyard, a light breakfast of tea and porridge and by reading newspapers.The senior Congress leader, who was taken to Tihar on Thursday evening, remained on edge the entire night, the sources said.He had dal, roti, rice and vegetable curry for dinner on Friday. No special treatment was meted out to him, they added.During the day, he was visited by his son. His lawyers also met him.Senior Congress leader Mukul Wasnik, All India Congress Committee's (AICC) Delhi in-charge P C Chacko, the party's general secretary in-charge Avinash Pande and Manickam Tagore had gone to meet Chidambaram around 1.30 pm but were sent back, Chacko said. He said the jail authorities told them that only three visitors are allowed in a week.The veteran politician, who is lodged in Jail No.7 which usually houses those accused in Enforcement Directorate cases, asked for a cot to sleep on but will get it only after a medical examination by a jail doctor finds he needs one, sources said. The Congress leader, who was also the home minister during UPA 2, was sent to judicial custody for 14 days on Thursday in a corruption case related to the INX Media group. Chidambaram, who will be 74 on September 16, could well spend his birthday in jail if he doesn't get bail before that. He has been given no special facilities, except a separate cell and a Western toilet as specified by the court, prison officials said. Like other inmates, he has access to the prison's library and can watch television for a specified period. Before being given his cell, Chidambaram underwent a mandatory medical checkup. His son Karti was also lodged in this cell for 12 days in the same case last year. Chidambaram's cell was prepared in advance, with jail authorities anticipating that he might be kept there in view of the ongoing court cases against him, officials said. The veteran Congress leader was brought to Asia's largest prison from the court in Rouse Avenue amid high security on Thursday, a journey that took nearly 35 minutes. The court allowed him to carry his spectacles, prescribed medicines to the jail and directed that he be kept in a separate cell in the Tihar prison as he is under Z category protection. Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who is being probed by the ED in connection with the AgustaWestland and a bank fraud case, is also lodged in the same jail. PTI SLB/NIT VIT IJT