The Sangrur police have arrested four police constables and a pharmacist of the local district jail for providing mobile phones and VIP treatment to jail inmates.
Not only this, three inmates, Sukhwinder Singh, Attar Singh and Sultan Singh, who have been lodged in the jail for the alleged murder of Congress leader Ricky Dullat for a year and a half, used to visit their houses on the pretext of getting treatment at a Patiala hospital. And in this they were amply helped by the five arrested.
SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu said the matter came to light when the three above inmates, while being in the jail, effected a murderous attack on Parveen Kumar, a prime eyewitness in Dullat case, on August 28.
Sidhu said, "The three later confessed that they had contact with the outside world through mobile phones provided by the constables."
"The inmates used to get bogus medical reference slips made by the jail pharmacist and repeatedly visit their houses on the pretext of getting treatment at Rajindra Hospital in Patiala," Sidhu added.
"Instead of going to Patiala, they would visit their houses, stay there for hours and then return to the jail. The illegal practice was carried out umpteen times."
About the role of the policemen, Sidhu said besides helping them to take cell phones inside the jail, the constables deliberately offered themselves as security cover on the inmates' visits to the hospital.
"The call details from the cell phones recovered from the jail showed that the accused had contacted the constables regularly over the past few months. The SIM card location of their mobile phones helped the police unearth the nexus," he said.
He said, "The pharmacist was paid Rs 1,000 for preparing the fake medical reference slip, while the constables were given Rs 1,000-2,000 for every such visit."
The police have recovered eight mobile phones from the three inmates.Despite the jammers installed on the jail premises, the inmates used to make constant calls to the constables and to people outside.
The constables have been identified as Sukhwinder Singh, Sukwinder Singh, Gobind Singh and Harbans Singh, and the pharmacist as Harish Gupta.
Sidhu said it was shocking that despite not being entitled to issue such medical reference slips, Harish repeatedly sent the inmates out of the jail.
The revelation has put the role of senior jail officials under the scanner.
Amarinder Singh alias Ricky Dullat, organising secretary of the Sangrur District Youth Congress, was murdered near an over-bridge on Dhuri Road in Sangrur on November 13, 2011. He was attacked by accused Sukhwinder Singh, Sultan Singh and Attar Singh when he was travelling with his mother Rajinder Kaur. Ricky was beaten up and murdered by firing at him from a close range over a property issue.