A day after Bibi Jagir Kaur was sentenced to five years in jail for conspiracy in the death of her daughter Harpreet Kaur 12 years ago, the SAD-BJP government openly extended VIP treatment to the former minister on Saturday.
On Friday, a special CBI court in Patiala convicted the powerful Akali MLA and former president of the SGPC, on charges of kidnapping, forcible abortion and wrongful confinement of her 19-year-old daughter, Harpreet, who died under mysterious circumstances on April 20, 2000.
Kaur was shifted from Patiala to Theh Kanjla Jail near Kapurthala in a private air-conditioned car late on Friday, even as rules allow for shifting of convicts only in jail vehicles.
As soon as the 30-strong convoy entered the jail premises (without the mandatory registration at the gate), staffers — including an assistant sub-inspector, an inspector rank official and jail doctor — rushed to open the door for her and touched her feet before escorting her to the barracks. Kaur was allowed to take her phone inside.
The scene was no different on Saturday morning. Her daughter Rajneet, son-in-law Yuvraj Bhupinder Singh and scores of Akali jathedars roamed about while Kaur, the head of Sant Prem Singh Muralewale dera, sat on a chair blessing her visitors.
Seeing journalists clicking photographs, Kaur said, “Don’t publish them as you will also land in trouble for violating norms.” She then moved to jail superintendent SP Khanna’s room where visitors continued to throng. Prisons minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur also came to meet Kaur.
The Congress said the erring officials must be sacked. Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira said, “They don’t bother about the dignity of court or justice.”