Controversy has erupted after a senior police official on Thursday alleged that AIADMK (Amma) leader VK Sasikala was being given preferential treatment at a prison in Bengaluru, where she is lodged serving her term after conviction in a corruption case. Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah has ordered a high-level probe over the allegations.
Allegations made by Deputy Inspector of General (Prisons) D Roopa flagged that a special kitchen being set up for her. The report has been submitted to the DGP (Prisons) HS Sathyanarayana Rao.
“There are rumours that the kitchen is continuing to function despite the issue being brought to your (Rao) notice. There is also a talk that Rs 2 crore has been paid as bribe for this,” she wrote.
“As unfortunately these allegations are also against you, it is requested that you look into the matter and take merciless disciplinary action against erroneous officials,” the report signed by Roopa said.
However, Rao rubbished the charge against him by Roopa, terming it “absolutely false, baseless and wild”. He said he would take legal recourse against his junior. He said no special treatment was meted out to anybody, adding that even in the matter of visitations, ministers, MPs and MLAs of Tamil Nadu were not being obliged.
Sasikala is lodged at the Parappana Agrahara central prison here ever since her conviction in February in the disproportionate assets case along with her two relatives VN Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, all serving a four year jail term.
She has also mentioned about the “preferential” treatment being provided to fake stamp paper scam kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi in the prison. Undertrial prisoners in his cell are allegedly being used to do his personal work like pressing his shoulders, arms and legs.
“I think you too might have seen this on the CCTV installed in your chamber. Allowing undertrials with convicts like Telgi is against the prison rules. Despite knowing this, the superintendent of the jail has not taken any action,” she said.
Refuting Roopa’s allegations at a press conference today, Rao said no “undue favour” was being shown to Sasikala. He said she was taking prison food as other inmates. “There is no special kitchen. She is like any other prisoner,” he said.
Stating that the DIG’s report was sent to his office after office hours and it had appeared in the media immediately, Rao said as a subordinate officer she should have discussed it with him first, including the charges against him.
“I’m open to any investigation. Instead she has gone to media without any evidence,” he said.
However, IGP (Prisons) Roopa said she was functioning within her official limits. Not wishing to comment on her report, Roopa told reporters today that if the DGP “finds it false, he has every means to get it inquired into again”.
She said a copy of the report has been sent to the government, adding, “let there be a fact-finding inquiry.”
(With inputs from PTI)