#KambakhtJail Series – Why was the punishment in the cellular jail (Kalapani ki saza) deemed as Hell on earth?

It is said that, of all the things you choose in life, you don’t get to choose what your nightmares are! The same can be said for the prisoners who were sentenced to the cellular jail of Andaman and Nicobar. The punishment of being a prisoner in this jail or Kalapani ki saza as it was called, was a nightmare come to life. People who know about this prison still get goosebumps while thinking about it. Let’s have a look at why it is called the cruelest punishment.

Kalapani punishment was started by the British in India in the Cellular Jail located in the Port Blair City of Andaman. One look at this prison will tell you how difficult it would have been to live in it, and Indian freedom fighters were especially kept in these jails.

Notably, the prisoners here were kept in total isolation with no contact with each other. The prison had a separate cell for every prisoner. The loneliness was the most frightening punishment for the prisoners sentenced here. A total of 698 cells were built in seven branches and there was no bedroom in any of them. Each closet was 15 × 8 feet. The prisoner of one cell could not contact the prisoner of the other cell in any way.

The construction of the jail was started in 1896 and completed in 1906. The boundary walls of this prison were so small that one can easily cross it. But with deep seawater framing all the sides, the prisoners had no way of escape.

The Britishers used to keep most of India’s freedom fighters in Kalapani. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Bhai Parmanand, Maulana Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi, Maulana Ahmadullah, Movli Abdul Rahim Sadiqpuri, Yogendra Shukla, Batukeshwar Dutt, Babarao Savarkar, Shadan Chandra Chatterjee, Sohan Singh, and many more fighters were kept here. This prison was made a national monument in 1969. The Government of India opened Govind Vallabh Pant Hospital here in 1963. Presently, it is a 500-bed hospital.

This was the story of that dreadful prison, which is also called as the hell on earth. This prison bears the symbol of the atrocities committed on the Indian freedom fighters by Britishers.


For other interesting news related to jail, keep reading #KambakhtJail Series – Public representatives who are charged with corruption

Politicians are the representatives of the general public, who are selected by the people through the voting system. They symbolize the will of people and what they want from the government. They work to provide the facilities given by the government to the public. But, do all the facilities reach the public? The answer will be no because, instead of working for the public, they work for themselves. It is quite disheartening to see that around 99 percent of the political leaders today have deviated from their path of serving the public and chose the path of corruption. Corruption has become an unavoidable part of politics and now and then, one or the other politician re-affirms this fact.

Below are some of the names of politicians who are found corrupted and are sentenced to jail.
Lalu Prasad Yadav
A special CBI court in Ranchi found Lalu Prasad Yadav, the leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and former Chief Minister of Bihar, guilty in the fodder scam. After which he was sentenced to five years in jail and was also fined Rs 5 lakh.

Suresh Kalmadi
On April 25, 2011, the CBI arrested Suresh Kalmadi on the charge of the Commonwealth scam and was sent to the largest jail in the country. Kalmadi was arrested on charges of fraud, conspiracy, and corruption in sports awards. Kalmadi was sent to Tihar in early 2012 after spending 9 months in jail in Delhi.

Kanimozhi, the daughter of DMK leader and M Karunanidhi, was arrested on 20 May 2011. Her arrest was ordered by a special CBI court in Delhi. Kalaignar TV CEO, Sharad Kumar was also arrested along with Kanimozhi. Kanimozhi was sent to Tihar Jail. Kanimozhi then appealed for bail, stating that she is a woman and the mother of two children which was granted to her by the Delhi High Court on 28 November 2011.

BS Yeddyurappa
It was an embarrassing time for the BJP when BS Yeddyurappa, who became the first Chief Minister from the party in South India, had to go to jail. The court rejected his bail plea and ordered his arrest. Yeddyurappa was arrested on 15 October 2011. While he allegedly has several corruption cases lying against him, he was sent to jail because of his alleged involvement in the illegal iron ore export scam in various districts of Karnataka. He was sent to the hospital on 16 October due to chest pain. He then returned to prison on the 17th and was again admitted to another hospital the same evening. He was released on 8 November 2011 after spending 25 days in jail.

Bangaru Laxman
Bangaru Laxman, a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president, was convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act in the 2001 Tehelka Sting case. He was convicted for taking bribes from a fake arms dealer to recommend to the defense ministry to award them a contract to supply thermal binoculars to the Army. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

Mahipal Maderna
Rajasthan’s sacked Water Resources Minister, Mahipal Maderna was arrested by the CBI on December 3, 2011, in the Bhavani Devi missing case. A CD related to the case was revealed after which, the state government ordered a CBI investigation. The CBI arrested Mahipal Maderna and Congress MP Malkhan Singh in December last year for their alleged involvement in the case. Maderna and Singh were shifted outside the Jodhpur Jail following a government order.

Amar Singh
On September 6, 2011, Rajya Sabha MP and former Socialist leader Amar Singh was sent to 13 days of judicial custody in the Cash for Vote scam case. Two other accused, with Amar Singh, were sent to judicial custody till 19 September for arrest. Afterward, the Tis Hazari court extended his internal bail till 19 September.

R. Balakrishna Pillai
V Balakrishna Pillai, a veteran Kerala Congress leader and seven-time MP, was sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment by the Supreme Court in a corruption case in February 2011. He was released on November 1, 2011, under a waiver by the state government.

Susanta Ghosh
Susanta Ghosh, leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist and former West Bengal minister, was arrested by the CBI in connection with the skeletal recovery case. He was detained in the 2011 Ajay Acharya murder case. His son had lodged an FIR after Acharya’s skeleton was found. 7 skeletons were found in a field pit near Ghosh’s ancestral home in Bencharpa in West Midnapore district.

Bibi Jagir Kaur
Bibi Jagir Kaur, the head of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment. Kaur was found guilty of kidnapping, forcible abortion, and the mysterious death of her daughter. However, she was later acquitted of the murder charge. Kaur was sent to Patiala Jail. She later demanded to be transferred to Kapurthala Jail, which was approved.

In the government of PV Narasimha Rao, Telecom Minister and Lok Sabha MP from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, Sukhram was accused of corruption. The CBI recovered cash worth Rs 3.6 crore in bags and suitcases from Sukhram’s former residence in 1996. In 2002, the Delhi court found him guilty and sentenced to three years of rigorous imprisonment. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling on 18 November 2011 and sentenced Sukhram to 5 years in jail.

For other interesting news related to jail, keep reading