Satyendar Jain’s ‘Masseur’ a Tihar Prisoner, Not Physio, Say Jail Sources; AAP Slams ‘Witch-Hunt’


The man caught on video massaging the feet of jailed AAP leader Satyendar Jain is a prisoner in a rape case and not a licensed physiotherapist as claimed by the Arvind Kejriwal-led party, sources in the Tihar Jail have confirmed, adding a new twist to the row.

The ‘masseur’ seen in the security video is Rinku, a prisoner charged with rape under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) law and imprisoned in 2021, official sources from Tihar Jail revealed.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), responding to the allegations, called it a political witch-hunt. Party leader Gopal Rai said: “For the past 10 days, ever since AAP has launched its campaign, BJP has been trying to defame Kejriwal. Our slogan is ‘kaam kia hai, kaam karenge’, theirs is ‘badnaam kia hai, badnaam karenge’. When Amit Shah was in jail, CBI said on record that he was given a special cell. The issue is not Jain getting treatment, the issue is people will give treatment to BJP on the 4th [MCD elections].”

A series of videos released by the BJP of Jain getting ‘VIP treatment’ in prison had triggered a war of words between the two parties, with the saffron party also lodging an FIR against Jain and Kejriwal.

BJP leader Amit Malviya bashed the AAP for still keeping Jain in the cabinet. In a tweet, Malviya wrote: “Despite being in jail for last five months, Satyendra Jain continues to be a minister in Arvind Kejriwal’s cabinet. He has been provided a masseur, TV, bed, bottled water and all facilities, in gross violation of jail rules. Why would Kejriwal not sack him? What is he scared of?”

On its part, AAP’s Manish Sisodia defended Jain and said doctors had advised him regular physiotherapy. “For the past six months, BJP has conspired against Satyendar Jain and kept him behind bars. They have stooped to such a level that now they are making a mockery out of someone’s illness. People can be unwell and can be treated. Even the Prime Minister can fall ill and get treatment… but it is only the BJP who can make jokes out of it.”

Jail authorities, however, claimed that the video was old and that action has already been taken against jail staffers and the officer concerned. Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had told a Special PMLA court that Jain was enjoying luxurious facilities at Tihar Jail.

Tihar Jail’s former PRO said giving massage inside a cell is not permissible. He added: “The massage that he was being given inside the cell is not permissible under jail rules. As far as physiotherapy is concerned, in every jail, there’s a physiotherapy centre where massage can be given by a physiotherapist or a trained expert.”

Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxsena had earlier ordered an inquiry into the matter, post which Jail Superintendent of Tihar Jail, Ajit Kumar, a DANICS official, was suspended. “He has prima facie been found to have committed irregularities that warrant inquiry,” read a recent order of the L-G.

Jain was arrested on May 30 under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He was in de-facto control of shell companies used for alleged money laundering, and the co-accused persons Ankush Jain and Vaibhav Jain were just dummies.

The ED initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of the CBI’s FIR lodged against various suspects, including Udai Shanker Awasthi, MD IFFCO, Pankaj Jain, Promoter of Jyoti Trading Corporation and Rare Earth Group, Dubai, Amarendra Dhari Singh and others. They were accused by the CBI of hatching criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal misconduct.

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