Guess who’s laughing days are behind him. It’s Sidhu Paaji. Ever since the man has been jailed, he is coming up with one complaint after another. And call it a politician’s privilege or plain luck, he has been getting a lot more than a regular quaidi, slugging it out in the dingy dark corridors of Patiala Jail.
58 year old Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is currently serving his 1-year rigurous imprisonment in the Patiala central prison, has a new complaint every week. Now, he says he is suffering from knee pain. Sidhu, who is serving just a one-year term in a road rage case that dates back to 1998 in which he killed a man, was examined by an orthopedic surgeon, who gave him a very simple advise that could end most of his health problems. He said, “lose some weight” huh…instead of throwing it around. Btw, just so you don’t forget, Sidhu, was let off in 2018 in the same case with a fine of just 1,000 rupees. And it’s not like killing a man stopped him from flourishing as a politician in multiple parties or getting paid crores for laughing like a maniac and doling out self made shayaris on popular laughter shows or just generally making explosive and often Anti-India statements on his verified twitter handle.
Now, according to a PTI report, Sidhu sleeps on the floor in his barrack, just like all other quaidis, but our man finds it difficult to get up, once he spreads himself on the floor. So now, upon the doctor’s advice, Sidhu has also been provided with a hard board bed by the jail authorities.
Just days after he was sent to jail in May, Sidhu tried to do what any self-respecting smart Indian politician would do – Get admitted in a hospital and then try to serve the rest of the term from a 5-star hospital suite, which we all know are nothing short of a hotel room.
Yes, in June, one afternoon Sidhu was taken to a Chandigarh hospital for his liver problems and he was in a stable condition even when he was brought in, and clearly it wasn’t serious enough for him to get a hospital stay. So, after being kept under observation for few hours, he was duly sent back to where he belonged – the Patiala Jail.
But then again, it’s Sidhu Paaji we’re talking about. How can he quietly serve a ‘mammoth’ 1 year jail term for something as small as taking another person’s life? So, the day before yesterday, he complained that his canteen card was misused by another quaidi. Awww!
But before you start empathising, let us tell you that Sidhu himself used to handover his card to two of his fellow inmates so they could buy fruits for him, and his wife Dr Navjot Kaur told this to The Indian Express. So, what was the problem? Were the two inmates not serving his majesty on time?
Well, Sidhu’s wife said they noticed that the monthly limit of 15,000 rupees was exhausted within just a few days after the canteen card was recharged and so Sidhu paaji ko shaq hua ki unka card kissine “misuse” kiya hai.The jail authorities promptly shifted the quaidi in question to another ward and called it a “routine procedure” – yeah as routine as quaidis affording 15000 of fruits!
Btw, due to Sidhu’s health condition, he gets a super special diet in the jail, unlike any other quaidi, who we are sure are not among India’s fittest either.
A medical board constituted on the direction of a local court in Patiala had recommended rosemary tea, juices, fruits and one roti, among other foods in the seven-meal diet chart for him. This was done after Sidhu moved an application asking for a special diet because of his “health complications”.
And what complications you ask?
Well, as per his doctors, Sidhu has a “history of Pulmonary Embolism in 2009 requiring hospitalisation, for which no record is available btw, and he also has a history of lower limb DVT meaning deep vein thrombosis in 2016 while he is on blood thinners. His report also noted that he is currently asymptomatic. Just like he is asymptomatic of a lot of other things, like guilt, empathy and remorse for killing a man.
But anyway, the Patiala Jail in Punjab is currently busy housing a few other VIP quaidis too, and very soon, Sidhu Paaji may have some competition in seeking attention of the media.
As per most reports, Daler Mehndi, who is now in Jail, in a 2003 human trafficking case, has been alloted the same barrack as Sidhu Paaji. They are both in Ward no.10. Another high profile quaidi there is SAD leader, I mean, Shiromani Akali Dal’s Bikram Singh Majithia. He is their padosi, but bechara, his demand for home-cooked meals was rejected. Meanwhile, Daler mehndi has made no such requests for home-cooked food or special meals and is eating what other quaidis are being served.
Interestingly, even as Sidhu is being served a special dietary chart of seven meals a day, here’s what the Punjab jail manual says about meals and its strict timings for the quaidis.
As per the manual, the daily routine of the jail is governed by sunrise and sunset. The jail authorities cannot serve food to inmates after the sunset, except in cases where the prisoner may have got special exemption due to health issues. The inmates are allowed to keep their food in their utensils. They can consume the food at a time of their choice, even after the sunset. They are given three meals–an early morning meal, a midday meal and an evening meal.
The early morning meal comprises “half a loaf of bread, half a slice of butter and a bowl of daal”. The midday meal is made of “parched and boiled grain’’ and the evening meal consists of the “remainder of the bread and oil, with a bowl of vegetables”. The early morning and midday meals may be interchanged at the discretion of the medical officer.
A Punjab jail officer said there are no terms such as breakfast, lunch or dinner in the manual. And though the timings for serving the meals depend on sunrise and sunset, the nature of food has changed over the years. Vegetarian prisoners are given tea, channa or bread and butter in the early morning meal. Non-vegetarians are given eggs instead of bread and channa. Inmates get rice, chappati and daal in the midday meal, around 10am. Rice, chappati and a vegetable dish is given in the evening meal. There is no difference between the midday and evening meals for vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
As per the manual, in special cases, the medical officer can allow a special diet for a quaidi for his or her health condition, but clearly not everyone is mentally and financially equipped to be so aware of their rights and then also have expensive legal teams, who can put up special applications in court and make things happen. Such privileges are clearly the luxury of the jail’s VIP inmates, especially the politicians, who never seem to pay even close to what is equal to the crimes they commit.
What are your thoughts on Sidhu’s Khana Khazana in Jail and the overall mockery of justice, where he got 1 year and 1000 rupees, in total, after some 24 years of killing a 65 year old man, just because he asked him to give him way on the road.
The day was December 27, 1988, when Navjot Sidhu and co-accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu also known as Bunny, were in a Gypsy when they had an argument with Gurnam Singh, a Patiala resident, after he asked them to give way. The incident took place near Sheran-wala Gate in Patiala, Sidhu’s hometown. Police said that Gurnam Singh was beaten up by Sidhu, who later fled the crime scene. Gurnam was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead.
Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments.