AAP leaders have said Satyendar Jain received physiotherapy
In a new twist to the row over viral videos of Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain receiving massages in jail, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s claim that these were “physiotherapy sessions” has been refuted by sources who say the “masseur” in the video is a prisoner in a rape case.
The man giving the AAP minister a massage in the security videos is Rinku, a prisoner charged with rape under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) law, according to official sources at Tihar Jail. He was arrested last year after his own daughter, a class 10 student, accused him of assaulting her.
The CCTV videos, dated September 13, 14 and 21, are the subject of a fierce row between the AAP and the BJP in the run-up to the Delhi civic elections next month.
The videos surfaced days after the Enforcement Directorate accused Mr Jain, who was arrested in a money laundering case, of getting special treatment inside Tihar Jail. The “VIP treatment” allegation led to the transfer of at least 12 Tihar jail officials besides the Director General (prisons), Sandeep Goel.
Mr Jain was seen getting massages and chatting with people sitting in his cell, which is not allowed in prison. Neither are physiotherapy sessions allowed in a prisoner’s cell, said officials.
As the videos went viral, bolstering the BJP’s demand to move the minister out of Tihar Jail, AAP leaders claimed Mr Jain was receiving physiotherapy for a spinal injury.
AAP has not commented on the new revelation, which was seized by the BJP.
“Rape accused Rinku was giving massage to Satyendra Jain. Rinku Accused under Pocso and IPC 376. So it was not a physiotherapist but a rapist who was giving maalish to Satyendra Jain! Shocking. Kejriwal must answer why he defended this and insulted physiotherapists,” tweeted Shehzad Poonawalla, BJP spokesperson.
Even on Monday, Arvind Kejriwal strongly refuted the BJP’s allegation of VIP treatment to his minister, sticking to the “physiotherapy, not massage” argument.
“They are calling it a massage and VIP treatment, but it’s merely physiotherapy,” Mr Kejriwal told reporters on the sidelines of his campaign in Gujarat’s Vadodra.
Mr Jain has been in jail since June. A Delhi court denied his bail request last week.