In a major revelation that is bound to cause embarassment to the Congress party in poll-bound Karnataka, a retired top jail official has informed an inquiry committee that AIADMK chief VK Sasikala, currently incarcerated in the Bangalore Parappana Agrahara jail, was given special amenities and facilities at the behest of Chief Minister (CM) Siddaramaiah.
The retired Director General of Police (Prisons) H N Sathyanarayana Rao revealed that Sasikala was provided with a cot, mattress and pillow based on the instructions of Siddaramaiah. Rao was serving as the head of the state's prisons department till last year when a senior police officer D Roopa exposed irregularities including special treatment to Sasikala.
Roopa, who was then the Deputy Inspector General of Police in the Prisons Department, alleged that AIADMK leader Sasikala had bribed senior officials of the department in exchange for special perks inside the prison including exclusive kitchen and relaxed visiting hours inside.
Roopa had stated in her report to the seniors in the department that "There were rumours that 2 crore was paid for this (Sasikala's privileges) and unfortunately the allegation is against you," following which Roopa was transferred out of the department. Despite being shunted out to the traffic department, she stood by her allegations.
Reacting to Rao's charges against him, Siddaramaiah said "A delegation from Tamil Nadu met me and said that Sasikala has not been provided with a mat and pillow. So I told him (Rao) to provide her with facilities as per prison rules. I have not asked (the officer) to extend VVIP treatment to her. I told Sathyanarayana to merely follow prison rules."
Sasikala, a close associate of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalaalitha, is currently serving a four-year sentence in the prison after her conviction in the disproportionate assets case.
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