Woman studies for CA in Yerawada Central Jail

Arrested for theft, prisoner refuses bail, prefers studying in the safety of jail

A 20-year-old resident of Solapur, who is serving prison term at Pune's Yerawada Central Jail for her alleged involvement in theft cases, has told officials that she doesn't want to be released on bail. Instead, she is using her time behind bars to gear up for the Chartered Accountancy entrance exam.

According to Abhay Parmar, Government Rail-way Police inspector, the accused — Niraja Chilha — was caught while stealing cellphones at Pune railway station in March. She already had four cases of theft registered against her, but had managed to evade arrest.

On being arrested this time, she told the police that she had completed her graduation. She had left home due to abuse by her stepmother. She lived on the platform of Solapur station before moving into a rented house. Unable to sustain herself, she took to stealing. "We had planned to engage her with an NGO once she was out on bail, but she told us that she preferred being in prison, where she could study for her CA exams," said Parmar.

A female jail officer said that the police have provided Chilha with study material. When contacted, additional DGP (prison), Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay, said it is the constitutional right of every inmate to gain education. When this reporter spoke to Chilha in court, she said, "If I was guided properly, I wouldn't have landed here. My father had come to bail me out, but I am safe and happy in prison, where I am studying."

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