Preliminary reports of the probe ordered by the Director-General of Police (Prisons) indicate that the former Punjab Minister, Bibi Jagir Kaur, did not receive any preferential treatment at the Theh Kanjla jail in Kapurthala district. She is lodged there after being convicted of abduction, illegal detention and forcibly causing abortion for her daughter.
Ms. Kaur, who was the first woman president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, was awarded a five-year rigorous imprisonment by a special CBI court in Patiala on March 30. Though the court had absolved her of the murder charge, she was found guilty on various grounds in the case of death of her daughter, Harpreet Kaur, about 12 years ago.
Media reports about Ms. Kaur being allowed to travel in a private car, while she was being transferred to the Kapurthala jail, being given a 32-inch LCD television set with a dish antenna and being allowed extra number of visitors to her cell, led to DGP (Prisons) Shashi Kant instituting an inquiry. Inspector-General (Prisons) Jagjit Singh was deputed to probe the charges.
Reports said the DGP was satisfied with the evidence that no LCD TV was installed in Ms. Kaur's cell, as the barrack was already equipped with a set that is accessible to all inmates. Local jail authorities are said to have produced documents that the LCD, which was seen being taken inside, was actually bought by an employee who lived in the residential quarters on the prison campus.
However, the DGP has demanded an explanation about those who touched Ms Kaur's feet when she arrived in prison. He is reported to have sought clarification about allowing her to travel in a private vehicle, while the report has cited “security reasons.”
The DGP has also sought details about the number of people being allowed to meet her in the cell.
Mr. Shashi Kant has been quoted as saying that nobody, including Ms. Kaur or the jail officials, had been exonerated as yet. He stressed that the rules had to be followed strictly.