Star Value of Ward No 10 at Patiala Jail Goes Up as Navjot Sidhu Gets Daler Mehndi for Company

The star value of Punjab’s Patiala Jail just went up. Housed in the same barracks as former cricketer and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu is popular singer Daler Mehndi who has been sent to jail for two years in a 2003 human trafficking case.

Patiala Jail officials say Mehndi has been lodged in Ward No 10, which also has Sidhu as an occupant. The former Punjab Congress chief is serving one-year jail term in a 1988 road rage death case. Ironically, Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia, against whom Sidhu had pushed for action, is said to be placed in the adjoining barrack after being booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act.

Sidhu’s Jail Troubles

On Saturday, Sidhu reportedly complained of severe knee pain and a jail doctor was sent to check on him. Sources said the doctor ruled out any major issue and reportedly said Sidhu’s issues were weight-related. The Congress leader has already been provided diet food in jail as per the recommendation of doctors to reduce his weight.

A few days ago, a couple of inmates from Sidhu’s barracks were shifted after he complained that two of them misused his cash card meant for buying provisions from the jail canteen. He had alleged that the two had connived and used his canteen card to buy things for themselves and exhausted the Rs 15,000 limit within a week. He had taken up the matter with jail authorities.

The New Addition

Mehndi was taken into custody by police on July 14 as a Patiala court also dismissed his application for release on probation. The singer had filed an appeal against his conviction in March 2018 by a lower court, which had sentenced Mehndi to two years in jail and also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000. Mehndi was then released on a bail bond.

His appeal against lower court order was dismissed by the court of Additional Session Judge HS Grewal last week. The singer’s counsel, LM Gulati, has said they will move the higher court now.

The Patiala police had booked Mehndi and his brother Shamsher Mehndi on a complaint filed by one Bakshish Singh. More than 30 other complaints, levelling charges of fraud against the brothers, also came up later. The complainants had alleged that the brothers had taken “passage money” from them to help them migrate to the United States illegally but failed to do so.

The complainants had also alleged that the singer had taken money to get them to Canada. It was also alleged that the Mehndi brothers took two troupes in 1998 and 1999 during the course of which 10 people were taken to the US as group members and “dropped off” illegally.

Mehndi, on a trip to the US in the company of an actress, allegedly “dropped off” three girls in San Francisco. The brothers had taken a troupe to the US in October, 1999, in the company of some other actors, during which three boys were “dropped off” in New Jersey.

The Patiala police had raided the singer’s offices in Connaught Place in New Delhi and seized case files of those who had paid the Mehndi brothers “passage money”.

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