After D. Roopa, the former Deputy Inspector General of Prisons, was transferred from her earlier job over the controversy she raked up, video footage and reports now reveal the kind of creature-comfort enjoyed by politician V.K. Sasikala in jail.
Sasikala and her relative Illavarasi are seen allegedly returning from a shopping trip in the video. The former Jayalalithaa aide is seen carrying a shopping bag in the CCTV footage.
In the video, she can be seen in a churidar along Illavarasi who is also a convict wearing a red gaudy saree instead of the prison dress which is a white saree.
The video shows her entering a long corridor, barricaded at both ends to ensure privacy for Sasikala in her room.
An NDTV report says that five jail cells have also been vacated to provide Jayalalithaa’s former aide with more privacy.
Sasikala also reportedly has access to a flat-screen television inside the cell, and access to unused chambers within the prison for her private meetings.
In a four-page report submitted on July 12 to erstwhile DGP (Prisons) H N Sathyanarayana Rao, Roopa had said a special kitchen was functioning in the central prison for Sasikala in violation of the rules.
She had said in the report to Rao that there was "a talk" that Rs two crore had exchanged hands and that there were allegations against him (Rao) as well.
Both the officials were shunted out of their respective posts on Tuesday by the Karnataka government, which has already ordered a probe into the charges, after they were locked in a bitter public spat.
A loyalist of AIADMK (Amma) chief V K Sasikala from Karnataka sought to dismiss allegations of her being accorded special treatment in a Bengaluru jail and dubbed the visuals purportedly showing her having various privileges in prison as "fake."
In the first reaction from the Sasikala camp to the allegation since it was made last week, AIADMK (Amma) Karnataka unit secretary V Pugazhenthi said the only thing that she has been provided in the prison is a bench to lie down and that too on a written request for the purpose.
"Nothing else can be given. How can cooking be done there? This (allegation) is heartless. I myself had pleaded with her for taking outside food as per rules. But she refused ... She is a very poor eater and will do with just vegetable salad," he told reporters here.
Referring to the visuals in the media purportedly showing Sasikala enjoying 'perks' in the Parappana Agrahara Prison, where she is lodged since February this year, he claimed they were 'fake.'
"They are purely fake images," he said. They are like computer graphics used in the film "Baahubali," he said, adding he was ready to accept a challenge on the images.
The leader also said there was no connection between the photos and the prison.
"She stays in a corner room of a building that looks dilapidated. But like Baahubali graphics, showing tiles, mosaic -- how is five star treatment possible?" he asked.
The prison, where Sasikala is serving her four-year jail sentence in the disproportionate assets case, had "revolving cameras" all around with every action being recorded, he said.
Visitors' entry was also properly recorded, Pugazhenthi, who had visited Sasikala in the prison a few times, said.
He also attacked former DIG (Prisons) D Roopa, who had brought to fore the alleged preferential treatment to Sasikala, wondering if she made the claims to garner national fame.
With PTI Inputs