jail, prison, imprisonment
Youth in Bihar have been indulging in petty crimes to find their way into jail so they can get good food. Picture for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: iStockphoto

Patna: Poor youth in Bihar have discovered a new way to dig into delicious meals without doing any physical work — they have been committing petty crimes to purposely land in jail so as to get good food!

This startling revelation came to light after police in Bihar’s Kaimur district arrested a group of criminals allegedly involved in committing theft in the house of a villager called Chandra Shekhar Kumar. As many as seven thieves, all from the poor Mushar community, were arrested on Sunday in connection with the crime committed on June 23.

During intensive quizzing by the police, the youths revealed how they had been purposely committing petty crime, like thefts and loots, to land in jail since they were certain to get good food there.

“Whenever we went to jail, we ate delicious food, such as chicken, mutton, cheese while we didn’t have ample food at home. So we commit crimes to go to jail,” one of the thieves, Guddu Mushar, told the Kaimur district superintendent of police (SP), Dinnawaz Ahmed.

‘Hospitality’ for prisoners

The thieves added they had no work and hence they hardly could afford any food of their choice. “Quality food or food of our choice is a daydream outside the jail. Even our wives scold us for not doing any work and hence we want to stay in jail,” one of the thieves revealed.

“So it is far better to remain in jail and get good food than being left outside, loitering around for work,” they added. One of the arrested persons even said that ‘hospitality’ for prisoners increases if they are sent to jail for murder cases.

The SP said they were surprised to know the reason behind the crimes committed, adding that the arrests followed thorough investigations by the police. The SP said police have also recovered the stolen goods.

Jail menu

Jail officials said the jail administration had prescribed different menus for different days of the week for prisoners. Food such as mutton, chicken, egg curry, cheese, ‘halva’ and ‘kheer’ (typical Indian milk-based desserts), are served in prisons, in addition to snacks and tea.

“We have a different menu for all seven days of the week,” the superintendent at Beur Jail in Patna, Jawahar Lal Prabhakar, said.

Although the government provided free ration to the poor during the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic, many families have been battling hard for survival in the absence of jobs. The long spell of lockdown has left more than three million migrant labourers from Bihar jobless, forcing them to return home.