A day after allegations surfaced that drug network was being run from Kapurthala jail in connivance with senior officials, jail superintendent Paramjit Singh Sandhu on Saturday accused his junior deputy superintendent of police (Jails) Vikramjit Panthe of levelling false allegations to malign his image.
Revelations made by an inmate over phone to Panthe, who was attacked on June 26 by unidentified men, have brought the functioning of the jail department under lens. As per the conversations, the inmate claimed to be a well-wisher of Panthe and said that chitta (white powder) was being openly sold in the jail and consignments of chitta worth several lakhs arrived in the jail when Panthe was undergoing treatment at hospital after attack. “The money also goes to higher officials in the jail,” said the inmate.
In a statement released to the media, Sandhu said the DSP is the chief executive officer of the jail and he is responsible for carefully checking each and every person who enters the jail. Still mobile phone and drugs are finding way to the jail, he said.
“As per his (Panthe’s) claims, he received a call from the inmate when he was under treatment in July 2015. Why didn’t he inform the competent authorities to take action against the person”, asked Sandhu.
Sandhu, on his part, claimed that in 2013 a drug racket was exposed with the arrest of a cop Ajmer Singh. Thereafter, Panthe was transferred to Hoshiarpur jail,” ,claimed Sandhu.
“On July 26, when I was about to leave the jail due to some urgent work, Panthe told me that had to go to Jalandhar for some personal work and also submitted an application for leave. I left the jail around 12.30 pm. At 10.30 pm, I got to know about the attack on Panthe and rushed to the hospital where he was admitted.”
Pointing a finger at Panthe, Sandhu said the very fact that he (Panthe) took over two months to make a representation to the Jalandhar police commissioner regarding the attack on him, shows that there is something fishy going on.
He said that an inquiry is being conducted by competent authorities and an action would be taken accordingly.
Over the alleged drug network in jail, the SP said he has been motivating prisoners to give up drugs. The department is also running a successful de-addiction centre with the help of jail medical officer and Dr Sandeep Ehula of Kapurthala civil hospital.
Cong wants CBI, High court investigations
The Congress has demanded a CBI inquiry into the startling disclosures by an inmate, who claimed that a large-scale drug trafficking racket was being run from Kapurthala jail.
Party spokesperson Sukhpal Singh Khaira said the allegations have once again exposed the utter failure of the Badal government to curb drug menace.
Khaira said as per the disclosures, the inmate has stated that “chitta” or heroin powder worth ` 2-3 lakh was being sold daily by the drug mafia within the jail and that the drug money was being paid to higher authorities as well. He told that disclosures have completely trashed, debunked and dashed to ground the tall claims being made by Badals that the government had controlled the menace of drugs in the state.
Congress spokesperson also claimed that such large-scale drug trafficking within the jail premises have also flattened the bogus claims of the state government that Punjab was merely a transit route for drugs coming from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He also accused that Badal government of blatantly shielding revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, whose alleged involvement in the drugs scandal had come to fore after kingpin Jagdish Bhola’s arrest last year.
He stated that either a CBI inquiry or a judicial probe by a sitting judge of the high court can nab the real culprits of the drug trade.
He urged the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court to take suo motu cognisance of these disclosures and order a probe.