Just when VK Sasikala was getting to know her neighbour at Bengaluru's Parappana Agrahara central jail, the latter was moved to another prison suddenly.
According to reports, KD Kempamma, better known by her serial-killer avatar Cyanide Mallika, was shifted to Hindalga prison in Belagavi, with little warning earlier this week. As news of Sasikala, who is the General Secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), of being put in a cell next to Cyanide Mallika became public, a section of the AIADMK workers became reportedly worried about her safety. Their concern may have precipitated the transfer of Cyanide Mallika to another prison.
By all accounts, Cyanide Mallika has been anything but civil to her jailmate from the very first day. She stopped by to say a friendly hello to Sasikala, Chinnamma to her loyal supporters, soon after she arrived to serve the four-year-long sentence awarded to her in the disproportionate assets case. But Cyanide Mallika's attempts at neighbourly chit-chat were rebuffed by the more powerful lady.
On the following morning Sasikala did grant her a half-smile, after which Cyanide Mallika became friendlier with her, even a bit reverential, fetching Sasikala her meals, instead of having her queue up like any other common prisoner. In spite of her request for Class A facilities, Sasikala has been denied all VIP privileges. Apart from a cot, she has been given a television set, regular prison clothes and utensils for her use.
However, knowing Cyanide Mallika's reputation of tricking wealthy women at temples and poisoning them, before making off with their jewellery, her overtures may have justly worried Chinnamma's well-wishers, who already suspect there's a plot to harm her. As it happens, AIADMK founding member PH Pandian, who opposed Sasikala's elevation to the position of General Secretary, had alleged poisoning as a possible cause behind the death of J Jayalalithaa, the late supremo of the party and Sasikala's close companion for three decades.
Even with Cyanide Mallika gone, Sasikala has other high-profile convicts for company, as is usual in most prisons. She is, for instance, lodged in the same cell as Shubha Shankarnarayan, who murdered her fiance with the help of her boyfriend and aides in 2003.
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