The Nabha Maximum Security Jail officers are in a similar trouble as their counterparts in Tihar who let a Delhi rape convict give an interview. Their mistake is letting drug lord Jagdish Singh Bhola speak over prison telephone to a television journalist.
Additional director general of police (prisons) Rajpal Meena has called explanation from the Nabha jail officials, who have shut the jail's public call office for damage control. During his 14-minute call to the journalist, Bhola accused Punjab Police and Patiala senior superintendent of police Hardial Singh Mann of making up a drug racket figure to grab the headlines.
"If it was a Rs 6,000-crore racket, where has the money gone… who has it?" Bhola asked the media in the statement aired during a TV debate in which he gave clean chit of Punjab cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia, saying it was Akali leader Maninder Singh "Bittu Aulukh" and others who had been talking about Majithia in jail.
Nevertheless, the call has caused trouble and forced officials to close the two telephone lines of the PCO operated by the inmates.
"No one was aware that Bhola was communicating with a journalist," said a jail official. Now, a system has been installed to let prisoners call only family or lawyer on pre-notified numbers for only 10 minute every week. Every call will be recorded.
The jail authorities have also written to the district and session judge for permission to move Bhola into separate confinement over violation of the prison rules. The judge is has yet to pass an order.
In spite of several attempts, jail superintendent Gurpal Singh could not be contacted for comments; but junior officials confirmed that the PCO had been shut and a request for separate confinement made to the court. firstname.lastname@example.org