Deputy Inspector General of Police (Prisons) D. Roopa, on Saturday, submitted a second report on irregularities at Bangalore Central Jail, Parappana Agrahara, just three days after she kicked up a storm with a first report alleging that senior prison officials had accepted money to provide privileges to high profile inmates including AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala.
Copies of the second report were submitted to DG&IGP R.K. Dutta, Director General of Police (Prisons) H.N. Sathyanarayana Rao, the offices of the chief secretary and home secretary and also to the Anti-Corruption Bureau. Ms. Roopa, while admitting that she had submitted a second report, refused to share details. However, The Hindu has learned that in this report, too, she has highlighted preferential treatment awarded to Sasikala. “The report alleges that a special meeting room had been set up at the jail for Sasikala’s visitors with a table and chair for the General Secretary and four chairs for the visitors,” said a high-level source who requested anonymity. This room was reportedly set up next to the office of the Chief Superintendent of the Prisons.
In her first report, Ms. Roopa alleged that prison officials had accepted ₹2 crore to provide privileges including an attendant and a special kitchen for Sasikala. There are also allegations that she received more visitors than the allowed quota, but their visits were erased from prison records and CCTV cameras. “She alleges that CCTV coverage at the barracks where inmates like Sasikala are housed were deliberately made defunct. Two cameras in the visitor’s room that everyone has to pass through also did not have records.” It was based on this information, which she learned from a prison officer, that Ms. Roopa inspected Central Jail on June 28 and later on July 10.
“Two top officials of Parappana Agrahara and the Belagavi prison have instigated a protest amongst inmates and staff against me for filing a report on the irregularities in Bangalore Central Jail,” Ms. Roopa has allegedly written in her report seeing strict action against the erring officials, according to the source.
Mr. Rao was not available for comment, while Ms. Roopa said she had nothing to say on this matter.
In the second report, Ms. Roopa said she had used a video camera from the prison department to record the statements of the inmates during her visits. It was during these interactions that she pieced together the alleged irregularities. While returning to her office, she had asked one of the staff to send the recorded clip but what she got was an empty clip. According to a source, when she questioned the the staff, they confessed it had been done at the behest of seniors.
Inmates refuse to return to barracks
Over 700 inmates of the central prison in Parappana Agrahara poured out their woes to Deputy Inspector General of Police (Prisons) D. Roopa on Saturday. They alleged torture, severe punishment and threats to transfer them to other prisons if they did not meet the demands of prison officials.
While she was hearing them out, prison staff allegedly tried to silence them.
The DIG summoned the Chief Superintendent of Police (Prisons) Krishna Kumar and pulled him up for not following protocol by providing an escort and remaining present during her inspection.
Later, sensing trouble, Ms. Roopa walked out of the prison gate following which the prisoners staged a protest demanding her return to resolve their grievances.
The protest continued till late on Saturday night with inmates refusing to return to their barracks.
Meanwhile, after her inspection of the prison, Ms. Roopa visited the jurisdictional Parappana Agrahara police and pulled up the Inspector for failing to curtail the smuggling of marijuana into the jail.
This prompted the Parappana Agrahara police, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) M.B. Boralingaiah, to rush to the prison to maintain law and order.
Earlier, Director General of Police (Prisons) H.N. Sathyanarayana Rao visited the central prison around noon. He was followed by Ms. Roopa three hours later.
The visit by both officials comes ahead of an inspection by a special team headed by former IAS officer Vinay Kumar, constituted by the State government, to probe the irregularities mentioned in the report submitted by Ms. Roopa.
No irregularities during my tenure: Parameshwara
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara on Saturday claimed there were no irregularities in the Parapppana Agrahara jail when he was the Home Minister.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah currently holds the Home portfolio.
Speaking to presspersons here, Dr. Parameshwara said if any police official was found indulging in irregularities or permitting VIP treatment to inmates by receiving bribes, the Chief Minister would take action based on the inquiry report.
July 12, 2017: Karnataka DIG (Prisons) D. Roopa submits a report to DG&IGP R.K. Dutta accusing seniors in the prison department of corruption
July 12, 2017: DG (Prisons) H.S. Sathyanarayana Rao says the onus is on Ms. Roopa to prove the charges. Cites two memos issued to Ms. Roopa in the past as the reason for the report filed by the police officer against him.
July 12, 2017: CM Siddaramaiah orders an enquiry into allegations made by Ms. Roopa. The State government issues a notice to the officer for speaking to the media against service rules. Ms. Roopa responds that she was not responsible for the report being leaked to the media.
July 12, 2017: Ms. Roopa submits a second report