Punjab gangster Jagdeep Singh aka Jaggu Bhagwanpuria tested positive for novel coronavirus on Tuesday. Jaggu has more than 40 cases of murder, attempt to murder, extortion, and cases under the NDPS Act and Prisons Act against him.
The development has sent shockwaves through Patiala Central Jail where he was lodged, and in Batala police district where he was brought on production warrant on April 30 in connection with a murder case dating back to November last year.
About a dozen people in Patiala, including Jail Superintendent K S Sandhu, have been found to have come in contact with him. In Batala, 40 people, including those who brought Jaggu from Patiala and questioned him, have been identified for testing, according to the authorities.
Jaggu’s sample was collected on May 2 and it tested positive on Tuesday, Gurdaspur Civil Surgeon Dr Kishan Chand said.
When contacted, Punjab Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa blamed the state police. “He was taken on police remand. (Punjab) DGP or Batala SSP can answer.”
Asked about the incubation period in the light of the fact that Jaggu was brought by the Batala police on April 30 from Patiala Jail and his sample was taken on May 2, Randhawa said the ADGP (Jails) could respond to this.
ADGP (Jails) P K Sinha said, “We don’t know. He is in police custody.” Asked about the incubation period, Sinha said the prisons department was trying to find how Jaggu may have come in contact with someone infected. “Tracing has been initiated and 11 people, including a Jail Superintendent and policeman, are found to have come in contact with him.”
Jaggu, The Indian Express has learnt, was found to be in possession of a mobile phone inside the jail on April 21 and was shifted to “32 chakkian” from the high-security zone meant for dreaded criminals in Patiala Central Jail.
Sandhu said that since all new inmates were being sent to Barnala jail in the wake of COVID-19, it was unlikely that Jaggu may have contracted the infection from jail.