Senior deputy mayor spends sleepless first night at Kapurthala jail

  • Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar:
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2015 20:25 IST
Senior deputy mayor Kamaljit Singh Bhatia taken into police custody in Jalandhar on Thursday. Pardeep Pandit/HT

Senior deputy mayor Kamaljeet Singh Bhatia had a sleepless first night in Kapurthala jail on Thursday, after the district and sessions court dismissed his appeal against sentence of two years imprisonment by the lower court on Thursday evening and was later sent to jail.

Bhatia has been lodged in barrack number-4 of Modern jail with 30 other inmates.

As per sources in Kapurthala jail, Bhatia had complained of high blood pressure on Thursday night, after which, he was taken to the jail hospital and given preliminary medical treatment. After few hours of his stay in the hospital, he was moved back to the barrack where he could not sleep.

The sources said, Bhatia looked fine when he came out on Friday, but did not talk much. He read local newspapers with other inmates. They also said his wife and two others from Jalandhar City came to meet him on Friday.

Meanwhile, Bhatia has been assigned the job of barrack guard (nigran) in the jail. He will have to keep a vigil on the activities of inmates in the barrack and have to maintain a record of their hearings in the respective courts. He will get Rs 25 per day in the form of his wage and will work for eight hours in a day.

According to sources in the jail, every inmate has to live a simple life and earn his living by working inside the jail. The kind of work that a general convict needs to do includes cooking food, cleanliness work, carpentry, etc. Generally, a convict sentenced to rigorous imprisonment has to cook, weave or do woodwork.

A jail official, however, ruled out that any additional services were being given to him. "He is being treated just like a normal prisoner. Normal food was given to him as per the menu of the jail," he said.

The case

15-years ago, Bhatia was booked under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on then joint commissioner Krishan Kumar's complaint that the accused had tried to attack him while he was supervising the demolition of encroachments on the 120-ft road, including the road around the Lucky Palace.

On December 29, 2000, Kumar, a 1997 batch IAS officer who was the then Joint commissioner of municipal corporation, Jalandhar (MCJ) and is now the chairman of agricultural and processed food products export development authority that comes under union ministry of commerce and industry, along with then DSP Chanchal Singh, MTP PK Garg, assistant commissioner DP Bhardwaj were outside Lucky Palace when Bhatia, who was then the municipal councillor from ward number- 44 (now ward-45), had obstructed their work.

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