Day in the Life of Prisoner Navjot Sidhu: From Waking Up at 5.30 AM to Working for 8 Hrs

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu surrendered before a court in Patiala on May 20 and will be serving his one-year sentence in the central jail. The Supreme Court on Thursday pronounced the sentence in a 1988 road rage death case. In Patiala prison, Sidhu will not be earning wages for three months before he is classified as unskilled, semi-skilled or skilled.

The 58-year-old former Punjab Congress chief surrendered shortly after 4 pm on Thursday, and was taken for a mandatory medical examination to Mata Kaushalya Hospital. After the check-up, he was taken to the jail in a police jeep. Patiala is the native town of the former India cricketer. Here’s what a day in Sidhu’s life may look like in prison:

  1. The day in jail starts at 5.30 am
  2. At 7 am, biscuits or black chickpeas are served with tea
  3. A brunch of six chapatis, dal or vegetables will be served at 8.30 am following which the inmates go to work
  4. Inmates finish their work, allotted as per category, at 5.30 pm
  5. Prisoners eat their dinner of six chapatis, dal or vegetables at 6 pm
  6. By 7 pm, all inmates are locked inside their barracks

While in prison, Sidhu will undergo training without pay for three months, according to the Punjab Jail Manual. After that, he will be classified as unskilled, semi-skilled or skilled. Inmates earn Rs 30 to Rs 90 on a daily basis.

Inmates work for eight hours per day and their charges are borne by the government. According to the manual, 25 per cent earnings by the inmate are as jail currency while the rest is put into a savings account.

Earlier when Sidhu went to the court to surrender, some party leaders including Navtej Singh Cheema, Ashwani Sekhri, Hardial Singh Kamboj, Pirmal Singh and his supporters accompanied him. Cheema drove Sidhu, who was dressed in a blue-coloured ‘pathani suit’ and was wearing dark goggles. But in jail, Sidhu will have to wear the mandatory white clothes of an inmate.

While in jail, Sidhu will have to avoid a diet that has wheat flour, said his media adviser Surinder Dalla. The Congress leader had undergone two to three surgeries and suffers from medical conditions like embolism and has a liver ailment.

Dalla also said Sidhu will need to take some medication. In 2015, Sidhu also underwent treatment for acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT) at a hospital in Delhi. DVT is caused by a blood clot in a deep vein which hinders the normal blood flow.

Ironically, Sidhu’s arch rival Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia is also lodged in the same jail in connection with a drug case. Majithia had contested against Sidhu from Amritsar (East). Both leaders lost the election to AAP’s Jeevanjot Kaur.

(With PTI inputs)

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