Nine of prisoners lodged at the Gurdaspur central jail made a written complaint against deputy superintendent Kulwant Singh, purportedly charging him with extortion and abuse of power.
They lodged their complaint with Gurdaspur senior superintendent of police (vigilance), demanding a probe into the charged and sought action against the “erring” officer.
The complainants, Surjit Singh, Hargobind Singh, Amarjit Singh, Daljeet Singh, Neeraj Masih, Suneel Kumar, Des Raj, Sukhdev Singh and Gurmukh Singh, alleged that the deputy superintendent had accepted bribes from many prisoners through his conduit havaldar Balwinder Singh.
They alleged that the deputy superintendent in connivance with Balwinder Singh “used to harass prisoners and forced them to give bribe in lieu of getting easier tasks in the jail”.
The complainants alleged in their letter that the deputy superintendent extorted Rs 20,000 each from prisoners Surjit Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Hargobind Singh and Rs 10,000 each from Amarjit Singh, Gurmukh Singh and Daljeet Singh, while `25,000 from Neeraj Masih and `5,000 each from Suneel Kumar and Des Raj.
The complainants also alleged that on February 2, assistant superintendent Harjinder Singh Dhadkan along with havaldars Sarbjit Singh and Baldev Singh and others had seized 80 gm of heroin during a search of Barrack No 8 (1), but did not bring it on record after taking a bribe from the prisoner concerned. They also questioned the whereabouts of the seized heroin, alleging that it was sold off.
Meanwhile, sources said, all prisoners lodged at the central jail went on an indefinite hunger strike on Thursday evening, demanding transfer of the deputy superintendent and havaldar Balwinder Singh, which the jail authorities denied.
When contacted, the deputy superintendent told Hindustan Times that he had joined the Gurdaspur central jail 2-3 months back and implemented the rules strictly that annoyed the prisoners allegedly involved in the drug trade.
He denied to have taken any bribe in any form from any of the prisoners and also refuted the reports of prisoners going on hunger strike.He, however, said some of the miscreants had forced the prisoners to join them in a hunger strike, but no prisoner was on hunger strike in the jail on Friday.