CHANDIGARH: Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted for the murder of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, assaulted senior journalist Kanwar Sandhu at Patiala Central Jail. The assault resulted in the suspension of Assistant Jail Superintendent Jagmel Singh who, though unauthorised, allowed the journalist into jail for an interview.
It is learnt that Sandhu’s access was organised by former cop Gurmeet Singh Pinki as Pinki knew Singh. Pinki accompanied Sandhu on his visit. As Sandhu started interviewing Rajoana, an argument occurred and he assaulted Sandhu. Later senior jail officials came to know about the incident.
Deputy Inspector General (Jails), Punjab, Lakhwinder Singh Jakhar confirmed the incident. “We have suspended Assistant Superintendent Jail Jagmel Singh as he facilitated an unauthorised entry in the jail for an interview.” Sources said proceedings for Singh’s dismissal have been initiated. The CCTV footage of the incident has been taken possession of so that it may not be tampered with.
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has ordered an inquiry into Saturday’s incident in which terrorist-on-death-row Balwant Singh Rajoana thrashed senior journalist Kanwar Sandhu during an unauthorised interview inside the jail here.
Badal assigned the investigation to additional chief secretary (home), while the prison department also reported the matter to police. Contrary to the claims of journalist Sandhu that there was no manhandling, a security-camera video has surfaced of his entering jail with controversial dismissed cop Gurmeet Singh Pinky, getting bashed up, and coming out holding his turban in hand.
Sandhu claimed that Rajoana’s sister, Kamaldeep Kaur, had invited him to interview the terrorist convicted of being involved in the assassination of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995. Sources inside the prison said Rajoana had pounced on Sandhu as soon as the journalist had shot his first question referring to Pinky, who has alleged extra-judicial killings in 1980s and 1990s during the terrorism days in Punjab.