A day in the life of prisoner Navjot Sidhu: from waking up at 5:30 a.m. to working for 8 hours

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu surrendered in court in Patiala on May 20 and will serve his one-year sentence in the central prison. The Supreme Court on Thursday handed down the sentence in a 1988 road rage death case. In Patiala prison, Sidhu will not receive any salary for three months before being classified as unskilled, semi-skilled or skilled.

The 58-year-old former Punjab Congress leader turned himself in shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday and was taken for a compulsory medical examination at Mata Kaushalya Hospital. After the check, he was taken to the prison in a police jeep. Patiala is the birthplace of the former Indian cricketer. Here’s what a day in the life of Sidhu in prison might look like:

  1. The day in prison starts at 5:30 a.m.
  2. At 7am, cookies or black chickpeas are served with tea
  3. A brunch of six chapatis, dal or vegetables will be served at 8:30 a.m. after which inmates will head to work
  4. The detainees finish their work, divided by category, at 5:30 p.m.
  5. Prisoners eat their dinner of six chapatis, dal or vegetables at 6 p.m.
  6. At 7 p.m., all detainees are locked inside their barracks

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

Inmates work eight hours a day and their expenses are covered by the government. According to the manual, 25% of an inmate’s income is in prison currency while the rest is placed in a savings account.

Earlier, when Sidhu went to 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 “Pathani suit” and wore dark goggles. But in prison, Sidhu will have to wear the obligatory white clothes of an inmate.

In prison, Sidhu will have to avoid a wheat flour diet, his media adviser Surinder Dalla said. The Congress leader has had two to three surgeries and suffers from medical issues like an embolism and suffers from liver disease.

Dalla also said that Sidhu will have to take medication. In 2015, Sidhu also underwent treatment for an acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT) at a hospital in Delhi. DVT is caused by a blood clot in a deep vein that interferes with normal blood flow.

Ironically, Sidhu’s great rival, Akali Dal chieftain Bikram Singh Majithia is also incarcerated in the same prison in connection with a drug case. Majithia had challenged Sidhu of Amritsar (East). Both leaders lost the election to AAP’s Jeevanjot Kaur.

(With PTI inputs)

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