HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

IG visits Kapurthala jail, finds nothing amiss

Sanjeev Bhalla , Hindustan Times  Theh Kanjla (Kapurthala), April 04, 2012
First Published: 19:43 IST(4/4/2012) | Last Updated: 22:31 IST(4/4/2012)

IG Prisons Jagjit Singh tonight made a surprise visit to Kapurthala Modern Jail at Theh Kanjla and virtually gave a clean chit to prison authorities who were accused of according a VIP treatment to Bibi Jagir Kaur.

"I came here for a surprise inspection. So, I came at this time and did not inform anyone. I have found nothing objectionable here. Everything is being done as per jail manual rules," Singh, who reached the jail at 9.15pm, told media persons.

"Moreover, I will come again in the morning to inquire into the matter of providing VIP facilities like LCD TV and dish connection," he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, following uproar over alleged flouting of prison rules to facilitate VIP treatment to the former cabinet minister, jail authorities restricted entry of media persons even as other visitors kept meeting her throughout the day.

Anticipating the visit of IG Prisons to hold an inquiry into media reports on flouting of jail norms, media persons -- including those from electronic media along with their Outside Broadcasting vans -- arrived at the jail complex at 9am, only to be told that they were not to be allowed in as per the instructions of DGP (Prisons).

Soon, around three dozen supporters of Bibi Jagir Kaur led by councilor Sukhwant Singh Takhhar started raising slogans against the jail administration for allegedly not allowing people to meet the former SGPC chief.

"We have been coming here to meet our beloved leader for the last many days but the jail administration is not allowing us to meet her. They are treating her like a normal prisoner," Takhhar remarked while raising slogans.

Later, former Chandigarh MC mayor and SAD leader Harjinder Kaur came out from the prison and rued her failure to meet the former minister.

"Bibi Jagir Kaur has refused to meet me as she is very upset over fabricated media reports about VIP facilities extended to her. Bibi ji has not violated any jail rules. I was unsuccessful in meeting her," she said.

Meanwhile, local leaders and people from her constituency kept visiting the modern jail to meet Bibi Jagir Kaur throughout Wednesday, flouting jail rules.

Punjab education minister Sikandar Singh Malooka, who spent nearly 90 minutes meeting Bibi, refuted any special treatment to her.

"No special facility is being given to Bibi ji. It is a modern jail and every prisoner lodged here is provided with same facilities, category-wise. The media has created a baseless hype. I wish you people had accompanied me and noticed everything for yourself," he remarked.

Asked why entry of media persons was banned in the jail premises, he quipped smilingly, "You people know the best. Otherwise, the jail authorities and the jail minister are the competent people to answer this."

Asked where did he meet Bibi Jagir Kaur, he replied, "In a special room meant for VIP people." Interestingly, this again amounts to violation of jail manual rules which state that the interview with an inmate should be arranged in a special cell for prisoners, that too in the presence of jail officials, for a convicted person.

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