[Saturday, April 10, 2004 01:38:40 am TIMES NEWS NETWORK]
PRATAPGARH: The BSP candidate from Pratapgarh, Shiv Prakash Mishra alias Senani, has faxed a formal complaint to the chief election commissioner on Friday afternoon about the misuse of jail premises.
He said in the complaint that the Pratapgarh district jail is being used as residence-cum-office of the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Akshay Pratap Singh alias Gopaljee, from the day of his filing nomination papers on April 5.
Sharing the contents of the letter with Times News Network, he said, "The election cannot be free and fair, till the district jail is used as SP party office," and pleaded, "it should be allowed to function as district jail."
The letter explained, "Before filing his nomination papers, on April 5, 2004, Gopaljee organised meetings, performed 'puja' and left for filing his papers from the jail. In the light of these facts, the fairness of the poll is in grave danger."
The district and jail administrations are acting in favour of legislator and Pota accused Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya, under his influence.
Mishra also demanded that penal action be initiated against Raja Bhaiyya who should be shifted from Pratapgarh to any other jail.
"Pratapgarh parliamentary constituency (No. 20), is hyper sensitive, wherein Pota accused Akshay has taken undue advantage of being released on bail. He is a notorious criminal, against whom nearly 37 criminal cases are listed in Pratapgarh and Sultanpur districts," Mishra wrote.
He added, "Raja Bhaiyya, a Pota detenu, is conducting and coordinating the election of Gopaljee, who used the jail premises as his election office, even after he was bailed on personal bond."
Gopaljee and KN Ojha, PRO of Raja Bhaiyya were not available for comments. Their cell phones were out of the network area.
Meanwhile, on the complaint of the Congress candidate Rajkumari Ratna Singh, the Election Commission has tightened its noose.
A barrier has been put up outside the Pratapgarh jail and CISF jawans have been posted to keep a vigil on the movements of the visitors. All visitors are being thoroughly searched about 150 metres from the jail gate.
On the basis of intelligence report that election is being conducted from the jail, the district administration acted to save its skin.
Recently, district magistrate RS Verma sent a letter to IG prisons, requesting to post DIG jail on the polling day.
Taking cognizance of the DM's letter, the administration has decided that a DIG would be posted in the jail within a couple of days, according to sources.