Jalandhar senior deputy mayor Kamaljeet Bhatia, who is serving two-year term at the Kapurthala Central Jail for intimidating an Indian Administrative Services (IAS) official, is getting a special treatment as the prison authorities are allowing him to meet political leader, flouting the jail manual. The district and sessions judge, Jalandhar, had convicted the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader recently.
Jail officials said as per a Punjab government circular, convicted prisoners whose name starts with alphabets from A to M can meet visitors on Tuesday whereas those with their names starting from N to Z can meet visitors on Friday.
Jail rules say only three persons can meet a convicted prisoner for up to 15 minutes but in case of Bhatia no such thing is being followed.
Rules also say only those who are in the blood relations of convicts can meet them while friends are allowed to meet when no one visits them from their family. In Bhatia’s case, prominent leaders, including former minister Bibi Jagir Kaur, Jalandhar Cantonment MLA Pargat Singh, former SAD minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan, BJP state general secretary Rakesh Rathore, Jalandhar mayor Sunil Jyoti, BJP leader Mohinder Bhagat and SAD leader Baljeet Singh Neelamahal among over 50 people visited him since August 21 since he has been lodged in the jail.
All these leaders visited Bhatia on different days.Sources said these leaders met the convicted leader in the office of the jail superintendant, whereas prisoners can meet visitors in a special room only. A SAD leader who visited Bhatia in a group, said Bhatia came to meet them not from the main entry of the prisoner barracks but from a room situated along the office of the jail superintendent.
“The entry of only one person was made in the register whereas the rest were not even asked about their identity,” he said. Sources said Bhatia is also allowed to take individual visitors to a separate room for a private conversation. Jail superintendant Paramjeet Singh Sandhu, when contacted, admitted that Bhatia was allowed to meet visitors in his office.
“Since several VIP politicians come to meet Bhatia, I am allowing these meetings in my office. There is political pressure on us,” Sandhu said.