so I figured out that jbpm-3.1.1.jar has turned on the lazy initialization in all the hibernate configs. In the old jbpm-3.0.4.jar, the lazy initialization was false in most of the hibernate configs.
I updated the HBM configs & created my modified version of jbpm-3.1.1.jar & now my DAO can successfully fetch data from the JBPM database.
Wrong forum, use the user forum for this
but thanks for adding the solution anyway :-)