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Cong leaders hit out at AAP for transfers in Patiala jail

On Sunday, Sucha Singh was not available for comment. He did not respond to the calls and a text message. Punjab Jails Minister Harjot Singh Bains was not available for comment either.

Chandigarh |
March 28, 2022 3:42:26 am
A view of Patiala central jail. (Express Photo: Jaipal Singh)

After a row erupted over the transfer of Patiala Central Jail Superintendent Shivraj Singh who was replaced with Sucha Singh on Saturday, a Punjab Police Service (PPS) officer considered close to Badal family, Congress leaders in Punjab hit out at AAP government in the state, CM Bhagwant Mann and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal for new appointment in the jail where SAD chief Sukhbir Badal’s brother-in-law who is brother of former union minister and Sukhbir’s wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal is lodged and facing trial in a drugs case registered against him on December 20 last year.

Congress MLA from Qadian Partap Singh Bajwa, in a set of two tweets wrote, “@BhagwantMann ji, you were elected on a platform of change for the people of Punjab. I find it deeply worrying that a known associate who has publically stated he is close to the Badal family has been appointed as the Superintendent of Patiala Jail, where @bsmajithia is lodged”. Bajwa further wrote, “Such quid pro quo agreements are disturbing and anti-Punjab. I urge you to look into this matter immediately and ensure that stern action is taken to prevent your Ministers from allowing for such favourable treatment given to specific inmates.”

Sucha Singh was appointed Patiala Jail Superintendent, a day after Jails minister Harjot Bains visited the Jail and reportedly ordered frisking of Majithia, who was put under tight security detail inside the jail soon after he was sent to judicial custody last month following “fresh inputs” by intelligence wing on threat to his life by terrorist organizations and gangster. On March 1, Sucha Singh hosted Sukhbir Badal and Harsimrat Badal for tea at his official residence in Patiala Jail premises as they came to meet Majithia along with other party leaders to wish the former minister on his birthday.

After the controversy erupted over the transfer, Sucha Singh reportedly said that he knew Sukhbir Badal as an inmate when he was lodged in the Patiala jail – in an alleged disproportionate assets case along with Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal in 2003 (Badals were later acquitted in the case) when then CM Amarinder Singh led Congress government was in power. Sucha Singh, who was Assistant Jail Superintendent Patiala Jail, added that he could offer tea to any past jail inmate he had come across during his career.

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On Sunday, Sucha Singh was not available for comment. He did not respond to the calls and a text message. Punjab Jails Minister Harjot Singh Bains was not available for comment either.

Congress MLA from Dera Baba Nanak and former Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, in a tweet, wrote “A person who is chargesheeted by the department has been appointed as Supdt Jail who is supposedly very close with the Badal family. In is an unfortunate situation that this is happened. such an opportunity, the government’s negligence in taking action against drugs is clear.”

On phone, Randhawa told The Indian Express, “Shivraj Singh is one of the best officers in the jails department. He made Patiala a modern jail on the lines of Telangana model after his appointment. Prior to his appointment, I had a tough time to control Patiala Jail. One superintendent was dismissed and other suspended. But, after Shivraj was appointed, he streamlined things. Not only that, he introduced the system of getting inter-jail sports tournaments of the inmates.”

Shivraj Singh is son of former jathedar (chief) of Takht Damdama Sahib Balwant Singh Nandgarh, one of the five highest temporal seats of Sikhism. Nandgarh, who was known to call a spade a spade and who had been at loggerheads with SGPC over adopting Bikrami calendar instead of of Nanakshahi calendar prepared by Sikh scholar Pal Singh Purewal for fixing dates of various Sikh events on the basis of solar calendar, was removed as Takht Damdama Sahib jathedar by SAD controlled SGPC in 2015 for violating “Rehat Maryada) (Sikh code of conduct).

 

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