The Bengaluru jail official who alleged that special treatment was being given to some celebrity prisoners said that a video that could have acted as proof has been destroyed, Deccan Chronicle reported on Saturday. The video that D Roopa, deputy inspector general (prisons), was referring to, was apparently one of jailed Tamil Nadu leader VK Sasikala receiving special treatment at the prison.
On Friday, Roopa’s report containing the allegations had been in the news, after which she was served a notice for allegedly leaking her report to the media.
The video Roopa has claimed was destroyed was apparently of Sasikala in the jail barracks. “I had visited the women’s barracks on July 10 and went the cell where the Sasikala has been lodged. As my mobile phone wasn’t working properly, I took a handycam from the prisons office and video recorded her cell,” she told Deccan Chronicle. She added that she had handed the camera over to the offie and asked an official to download the videos and put them on an external device for her. “But, the handycam came to me, it was found blank with no videos,” she said.
As an aside, she has also alleged that she is being targeted because her report was made public. Roopa claimed she was not the one who had leaked the report, and that other officers had also spoken to the media, but were not sent any notices.
On Friday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Roopa would face action for taking her findings to the media. He claimed that speaking to the press about the report repeatedly was against service rules.
D Roopa’s prison report
The report claims that All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief Sasikala paid Rs 2 crore in bribe to senior police officers for preferential treatment at the Bengaluru central jail. Rao has been accused of providing the AIADMK leader with special facilities such as deputing inmates to cook food for her in a special kitchen set up for her.
The prison report has been submitted to the Karnataka government, additional chief secretary (home), the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the state inspector general of police and Rao himself. Siddaramaiah had ordered an inquiry into the allegations.
This is not the first instance where there has been speculation that Sasikala has had special privileges in jail. Earlier, in response to an RTI, the jail had revealed she was allowed visitors after 5 pm, which is after visiting hours.