The latest cause of contention between the BJP and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in the country’s capital is a supposedly leaked video purporting to show Delhi minister Satyendar Jain receiving massages inside the Tihar jail.
The video was released days after jail superintendent Ajit Kumar was demoted for allegedly breaking the law to grant the AAP leader special treatment. Jain is seen getting foot, back, and head massages on various days in the six-minute video clip that news agency ANI released. Four persons can be seen inside Jain’s cell in one of the videos, which is allegedly dated September 21 and shows the Delhi minister receiving a foot massage.
The Delhi Government’s Department of Delhi Prisons oversees the operation of Tihar Jail.
Shehzad Poonawalla, the national spokesperson for the BJP, claimed that the video was evidence of “rules violations in a jail controlled by the AAP government.”
“Satyendra Jain was getting full VVIP Mazaa ? Massage inside Tihar Jail? Hawalabaaz who hasn’t got bail for 5 months get head massage !Violation of rules in a jail run by AAP Govt, (sic)” Poonawalla tweeted. “This is how official position abused for Vasooli & massage thanks to Kejriwal.”
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said that the massage was part of physiotherapy recommended by doctors, alleging that BJP was “mocking illness” of a patient. Sisodia said that the video was leaked despite court’s otherwise instructions to ED.
“”Satyendar Jain has undergone two spine-injury operations. He has been prescribed regular physiotherapy by the doctor. Since Covid, there is a patch in his lungs which has not been cured yet,” he tweeted.
AAP’s Akshay Marathe, whose Twitter bio says ‘spokesperson-on-sabbatical’, said that every jail inmate “deserves privacy and dignity” and releasing videos to “score political points is pathetic.”
“Disgusting how Satyendar Jain, a 58-year-old man who has NOT been convicted is being harassed by BJP. Leaves a very bitter taste. All politics aside, every jail inmate deserves privacy and dignity. Releasing videos from inside a jail to score political points is pathetic,” Marathe tweeted.
The Enforcement Directorate(ED) arrested Jain in May this year under the prevention of money laundering act (PMLA). The central agency’s probe against Jain is based on a 2017 case of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in which it was alleged that the AAP leader and his wife Poonam Jain had amassed disproportionate assets worth ₹1.47 crore between February 2015 and May 2017, which was 217.20 percent more than their known sources of income.
According to the AAP, Jain’s detention was the result of a political vendetta.