It has been barely a day since DIG Roopa got shunted out of the Prisons Department over a report where she questioned privileges given to AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala in the Bengaluru Central Jail. But a steady stream of photographs and videos, purportedly backing the IPS officer's claims of special treatment to Sasikala, continue to be leaked from this high security prison.
The latest video accessed by TNM, shows Sasikala accompanied by her sister-in-law Ilavarasi, as she walks along the corridor of what seems to be the Central jail. An officer dressed in khakhi is turning away from the politician and is surveying the corridor.
Though it is unclear when the video was taken, Sasikala and Ilaivarasi are not dressed in the uniform meant for inmates. Instead the AIADMK General Secretary is clad in a brown salwar as she casually strolls down the short path with what looks like a paper bag in one hand.
Ilavarasi is dressed in a red saree and Sasikala actually gestures in greeting to one of the guards as she comes into the purview of the video camera.
A few AIADMK members have taken to social media claiming the footage was from 2014, but there is no confirmation of the same.
Sources in the Parappana Agrahara jail told TNM that a 150 feet corridor with five prison cells is exclusively allocated for Sasikala's use. "She has kept her personal belongings in all he cells. She uses one to eat, one to do yoga and one more has a cot and private bedding, none of which is allowed," says a senior prison official. "She goes walking on the corridor and there are barricades that limit access to her quarters," she adds.
That is not all, VIP treatment allegedly comes into play even in the meals that Sasikala is served. "She has not reported any illness but she is brought meals separately in different vessels," says the officer.
This 'exclusive living space' has been given to the AIADMK General Secretary even as other barracks in the prison allegedly witness overcrowding. While prison authorities have given in writing that an LED television will be provided in each room in a barrack , in reality it is in the ratio of one television to 60 prisoners. "But here Sasikala alone has one LED TV to herself and it is brand new," alleges the officer.
On Monday, TNM accessed photos that few officers in Bengaluru Central jail claim is proof of the corruption that has allowed a prisoner special provision when she is not eligible for them.
It included images of a well stocked shelf with stainless steel vessels, several clothes, a cushioned mat, and a mosquito net. While Sasikala herself is not seen in the pictures, sources claim that this in fact is her cell, and that the pictures were taken without her knowledge.
DIG Roopa in her report on irregularities within the prison had said that there were rumours that senior officials - including her reporting officer, former DG (Prisons) Satyanarayana Rao, had taken bribes amounting to Rs 2 crore, for providing special privileges to the convict.