An undertrial prisoner in Punjab’s Barnala district has accused the jail superintendent of torture and branding the word ‘aatankwadi’, or terrorist, on his back, NDTV reported.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has ordered a thorough probe into the claim.
As per the report, the prisoner – 28-year-old Karamjit Singh – made the allegation at a court in Mansa district.
“The condition of inmates is deplorable. People diagnosed with AIDS and hepatitis are not kept in separate wards, and whenever I tried raising the issue of ill-treatment, the jail superintendent would beat me,” he claimed.
The jail superintendent, Balbir Singh, has denied all charges, and dismissed Karamjit Singh as a “repeat offender who has a habit of sharing concocted stories.
Malicious intent of @INCPunjab gov to paint Sikhs as Terrorists!@PunjabPoliceInd beats undertrial Sikh prisoner & engraved word ‘Atwadi’ on his back
We demand immed suspension of Jail Superintendent & strict action for Human Rights violation@CHARANJITCHANNI @Sukhjinder_INC @ANI pic.twitter.com/kIi4aqHR9z
— Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) November 3, 2021
“He faces trial under 11 cases, ranging from NDPS Act to murder, and now he is making these allegations because he is upset with us… we keep searching the barracks and last time we found a cell phone in his barrack…. even when he was lodged in Sangrur district,” he said.
The superintendent further claimed Karamjit Singh had once even escaped from police custody.
Deputy Chief Minister Randhawa has ordered ADGP (Jails) PK Sinha to conduct an in-depth inquiry and carry out a medical examination of the prisoner.
A senior officer – Tajinder Singh Maur, the DIG (Ferozepur) – has been appointed as the investigating officer, and will begin inquiries today.