Clean chit to jail personnel on VIP treatment to J

It had been alleged that VIP facilities were being provided to former Punjab minister Bibi Jagir Kaur in Kapurthala jail.

Chandigarh: An inquiry into alleged VIP facilities being provided to former Punjab minister Bibi Jagir Kaur in Kapurthala jail, where she is lodged in connection with the abduction of her daughter, has found no violation of rules by prison personnel, according to a top police official.

Punjab`s DGP (Prisons), Shashi Kant said no LCD TV or dish antenna, as was alleged, was installed in Jagir Kaur`s barrack in Theh Kanjla Jail and there "had been no violation of the rules" on the issue of giving permission to people to meet her and allowing her vehicle inside the prison premises, saying it was done due to security reasons and based on threat perception.

He, however, said that an explanation has been sought from the jail personnel who were seen on video touching Kaur`s feet when she was brought to jail after being sentenced to five years imprisonment by a CBI court for conspiring in forcible abortion and abduction in connection with the mysterious death of her teenaged daughter Harpreet Kaur 12 years ago.

Jagir Kaur was the lone woman member in the 18-member Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD-BJP ministry which was sworn in last month. Kaur, who resigned as Minister on moral grounds, was, however, acquitted of murder charge against her.

Kant, who had ordered the inqury last week, told a news agency that IG Jails, Punjab, Jagjit Singh`s inquiry report was ready and he had carried out inspection of the Kapurthala jil on multiple occasions during last week including last night.

"The report will be formally submitted to me shortly. Going by what the IG has verbally discussed with me about his report, no LCD TV or dish antenna was installed in Jagir Kaur`s barrack.

"The IG said that the articles were meant for staff residential quarters located inside the prison complex and he has also procured receipts from the concerned persons," he said.

Regarding Jagir Kaur`s vehicle being allowed inside the prison complex the day when she was brought there late in the night after her sentencing in the case, Kant said Jail Superintendent SP Khanna had cited security reasons for this.

The DGP said that Kaur had her own religious Dera in Kapurthala district and during the days of militancy in Punjab, all such religious Deras had been provided security cover which continued till today.

He said the IG conducted surprise visits to the jail. "But on all the occasions, no objectionable thing was found.

As regards the TV, an old TV has been provided along the barracks, which all inmates can watch," he said.

Asked about media reports that suggested that there was beeline of visitors who were allowed to meet 57-year-old Kaur in the prison, Kant said the Jail Superintendent had cited rule 476 of the Prisons Act, under which he has powers to decide how many persons to allow at a given time.

"He (Jail Superintendent) has powers depending upon circumstances and taking threat perception of the inmate into account. Khanna had told the IG that there had been no violation of the rules in all the meetings that he allowed between Kaur and those who had come to meet her. The meetings were granted under his personal supervision," the DGP said.

On some jail and other police officials allegedly seen touching the feet of Jagir Kaur near the prison, Kant said that explanation had been sought from those jail personnel who had been identified in the TV footage.

"There were other police personnel who must have been from the Zila (district) police who could not be identified," he said.


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