Puneeth’s Omni gift for prisoners goes missing

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city central jail

An Omni van, donated by film actor Puneeth Rajkumar and director Prem in 2009 to the city’s central prison for the purpose of imparting driving lessons to the inmates and as an ambulance, has gone missing since the past two years. The vehicle was a gift from the duo who had shot sequences for their movie Raaj in the prison premises.

Disappointed inmates plan to bring the issue to the notice of prisons ADGP K V Gagandeep. The prison inmates were told the Omni would be used in place of a Maruti 800 for driving lessons. Baking, horticulture and tailoring are taught to the inmates, and learning to drive a vehicle would have added to the skill sets of the prisoners and made them more employable after their release.

“For two years, the vehicle was used by an official for his personal work. Then, all of a sudden, it went missing. We will write to the ADGP, and we hope he will bring the official who misused the vehicle to book. We would also request him to continue the driving training course for inmates,” a prisoner who is out on parole told BM.

Prison officials, however, maintain that the vehicle is used as an ambulance. “I’m not aware that the Omni was supposed to be used for driving lessons for inmates. But it is used as an ambulance now,” Veerendra Simha, chief superintendent of the prison, told BM.

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