Days after jailed Delhi minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain moved court alleging that he is not being provided raw food as per his religious beliefs, fresh videos that emerged from Tihar jail on Wednesday showed the minister eating uncooked vegetables and fruits in his cell. Tihar Jail sources also countered Jain’s claim that he lost 28 kg during his time in prison and said that he had instead gained 8 kg so far, reports news agency PTI.
Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a case of alleged money-laundering and has been in custody since then. Jain has claimed in a petition filed Monday that he has been surviving on fruits, vegetables, seeds and dry fruits or dates which he was purchasing from his quota of ration available to all inmates. Jain is “a strict adherent of Jainism”, the application added.
The videos, dated September 13 and October 1 emerged a day after a Delhi court issued notices to the Enforcement Directorate seeking the agency’s response to Jain’s plea seeking directions to Tihar officials “to provide him food items like fruits, dry fruits and dates as per his religious beliefs as he was observing a fast”.
Jain has claimed in his petition that the jail administration have stopped providing him basic food that is partaken under his religion for the last 12 days.
Countering Jain’s allegations, Tihar jail sources told PTI that the videos negate the claims made by the jailed minister. “He has been getting the food of his choice, including fruits and dry fruits, as the video shows,” PTI quoted the sources as saying.
The videos come days after another set of CCTV footage showing Jain getting a massage inside prison went viral. While AAP defended the allegations of special treatment being accorded to Jain inside prison, saying he was getting physiotherapy treatment following a spinal injury in jail, it later emerged that the man seen giving the massage was a prison inmate convicted in a POCSO case.
The videos have given fresh fodder to the BJP to target AAP ahead of the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). Addressing a press conference in the national capital, where the BJP also released videos of Jain getting proper food, Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi said accused AAP of indulging in “characterless actions”.
“These are the people who give a bad name to politicians and political parties. The people of Delhi need to understand that these are people who say one thing and do the exact opposite. While Arvind Kejriwal is busy giving certificates of honesty to himself, the ground reality is completely different,” she said.
“These are the people who are first getting involved in acts of corruption, they are misusing facilities inside jail.. television is working, packed food is coming, somebody is massaging his feet as if they are in a holiday resort and not inside jail. People of Delhi should see that the very Aam Aadmi Party which is busy giving others character certificates is itself indulging in characterless actions,” Lekhi added.