Ex-speaker Mahara reads books to while away prison days
Kathmandu, 20 November (2019) – Ex-speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara has been remanded to the prison on the charge of attempting to rape a female officer working at parliament secretariat.
Kathmandu District Court on 4 November ordered imprisonment of Mahara pending trial. He is behind bars at Dillibazar Sadar Prison.
Prison Officer Sita Adhikari said that Mahara is serving time without any pomp in comparison to other VIP prisoners.
“I inquired about Mr Mahara’s deportment today (Tuesday) and found out that he is spending his day normally,” Adhikari told Lokantar. “He does not strut around like other VIP prisoners.”
Mahara’s name is registered as Prisoner number 343 in record books of Dillibazar prison. Former Inspector General of Police Ramesh Chand Thakuri and former DIG Ranjan Koirala are fellow inmates.
Prison Guard Dipak Giri said that Mahara wakes up at around 5 am every day. “Mr Mahara sleeps around 9 pm,” Giri said. “After rising from the bed he wakes up other inmates. He tells other prisoners that it is already daybreak.”
Mahara is kept with five other VIP inmates: suspended Member of Parliament Resham Chaudhary; DB Karki; Ramesh Chand Thakuri; Ranjan Koirala; and Shambhu Bharati. Officer Adhikari said that these VIP inmates are kept in a small group apart from other prisoners.
Mahara completes his morning duties after waking up and sits in the sun. Then he takes fruits. Most of his day is spent in reading books. “He reads all the time and has adopted simple lifestyle,” Adhikari said.
Mahara eats rice twice a week only. He eats rotis (flatbread) the remaining five days. “We have arranged rotis for Mr Mahara in the mess. Nothing comes from outside,” Adhikari said.
Mahara has asked prison personnel to treat him like other prisoners. “I’m like other inmates. Treat me just like you treat others,” guard Dipak Giri quted Mahara’s words to Lokantar.
Mahara has been provided a single bed in the jail. Officer Sita Adhikari said that Mahara’s bed caters to his health and that is the only “extra” facility provided to him.
Guard Giri said that Mahara’s family members bring fruits for him.
“I don’t know any other people coming to meet him. Maybe I don’t recognize them. But family members come to meet him frequently.” Giri told Lokantar.
Prison administration has informed that altogether 606 inmates are in the jail.