Lapse? Navjot Singh Sidhu, drugs suspect in same barrack

Officials say dismissed cop, from whose residence AK-47 was seized in 2017, shifted out

Lapse? Navjot Singh Sidhu, drugs suspect in same barrack

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu at the CJM court in Patiala. - File photo

Tribune News Service

Aman Sood

Patiala, May 21

In a major lapse on part of the jail administration, former PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has been raking up the drugs issue almost all through his political career, had to share library barrack No. 10 inside the Patiala Central Jail with an accused booked in drugs and illegal weapons cases.

Will look into ‘laxity’

The jail staff have moved Inderjit Singh to another barrack. We will look into the lapse, if any. Spokesperson on behalf of Jails Dept

Former cop Inderjit Singh, dismissed from service, is allegedly facing charges of involvement in major drugs nexus, involving high-profile officers — many still in service. He was lodged in the same barrack as Sidhu on Friday, but shifted out “after queries”.

Dismissed CIA Inspector Inderjit Singh, from whose residences illegal weapons, including an AK-47, and intoxicants were recovered in 2017, was housed in the same barrack as Sidhu.

Sources in the Jails Department confirmed even lower-rung jail staffers were surprised to see Sidhu housed in the same barrack as the inmate. “Already, Punjab jails have seen murders and Sidhu, because of his anti-drug stance, is on their hit list,” said a source.

Sidhu surrendered on Friday, a day after the SC awarded one-year rigorous imprisonment in a 1988 road rage case. Yesterday evening, Sidhu was locked in the barrack after completing his formalities around 7.30 pm.

A senior IPS official said keeping any Punjab-based inmate facing drugs charges or linked to “big fish” in the trade could pose a serious threat to Sidhu, as also SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia.

“The jail administration should have run background checks on the inmates sharing the barrack with Sidhu. Even those allowed near him need monitoring, given his stance against drug traffickers,” added the officer.

Refusing to share details on the issue, Jail Superintendent Manjit Tiwana said: “Such information should not be made public. You can approach seniors in Chandigarh for update. I am not authorised to speak on the issue.” Staff attached with Minister for Jails Harjot Bains said a senior jail official would comment on the issue.

Later, a spokesperson on behalf of the Jails Department told The Tribune once the report reached them about dismissed cop Inderjit Singh sharing the barrack with Sidhu, they ordered him to be shifted out. “The jail staff have informed me Inderjit has been moved to another barrack. We will look into the lapse, if any,” he added, claiming there was no security issue inside the jail.

First 24 hrs in jail

  • Skipped dinner on Friday, took tea on Saturday morning
  • Did yoga, meditation
  • Moved plea about wheat allergy, health issues
  • Allowed food as per doctor’s advice

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