Congress leader and former India Test cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was sent to Patiala central jail on Friday (May 20) in connection with a road rage death case in 1988, skipped dinner and took only medicine on his first day in prison.
According to a Hindustan Times report, Sidhu was in “high spirits” and was “cooperating” with jail authorities. He will earn ₹40 to ₹60 per day in prison.
Also read: A road rage episode that caught up with Navjot Singh Sidhu
“He is in high spirits and cooperating. There is no special meal for him. If a doctor advises any special meal, he can buy it from the jail canteen or cook himself,” an official was quoted as saying in the report.
The former Punjab Congress president’s prison number is 241383. He is lodged in barrack number seven.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia, who had contested against Sidhu from Amritsar East, is also in the same prison in connection with a drug case, according to the report.
Both Sidhu and Majithia had lost the Punjab Assembly election to AAP’s Jeevanjot Kaur.
Earlier, Sidhu’s media advisor Surinder Dalla told PTI that the Congress leader has undergone two to three surgeries and suffers from medical conditions like embolism and has a liver ailment.
Sidhu needs to take some medication and avoid a diet that has wheat flour, he said.
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.
Dalla said Sidhu has to wear a big plastic band on legs so that there is no clot formation on the legs.
“He has a medical history, he is taking many medicines. These are our concerns.” Sidhu’s wife and former MLA Dr Navjot Kaur had reached their Patiala residence from Amritsar on Thursday night.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court had sentenced Sidhu to one-year rigorous imprisonment in the 34-year-old case, saying any undue sympathy in imposing an inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice system and undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law.
A 65-year-old man, named Gurnam Singh, had died in the incident.
Sidhu surrendered before a court in Patiala on Friday and was sent to the Patiala central jail.
Senior advocate HPS Verma, who accompanied Sidhu to the court, said the former Punjab Congress president surrendered before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Amit Malhan, who signed the conviction warrant and ordered him to be sent to the jail.
The 58-year-old surrendered shortly after 4 pm, and was taken for the mandatory medical examination, conducted at the Mata Kaushalya Hospital. After the medical check-up, he was lodged in the jail in a police jeep.
In Patiala, some former MLAs and supporters turned up at Sidhu’s residence on Friday morning to show their support, but no prominent Congress leader from the state unit was seen either at his home or at the court with him.
However, Congress leader Navtej Cheema downplayed this, saying everyone has expressed their moral support. Cheema also said Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had also conveyed her support over the phone.
“Sidhu ji will come back and shine once again,” Cheema said.
Some of Sidhu’s supporters said they will continue his “Jittega Punjab” mission for the Congress.
(With inputs from agencies)