Kolkata, Oct 20: The number of incidents in which prison inmates are using cell phones has kept security agencies on their toes. A recent raid at the Kolkata jail where several high profile prisoners are lodged resulted in the seizure of 350 cell phones.
A similar raid was also conducted in the high security Tihar jail, Delhi and the police ended up seizing 65 cell phones.
The central jail in Kolkata houses very important persons such as Gautam Kundu of the Rose Valley Group, Sudipta Sen of Saradha among others. The investigations have found that most of them have been using their cell phones in jail as a result of which their business continues to flourish.
In Tihar it is a different story. The jail which houses plenty of gangsters continue to use the cell phone to make extortion calls and they even strike deals while behind bars. How are these prisoners managing to get the cell phones into jail despite claims of high security being in place?
Smuggling the cell phones:
The most common way of getting a cell phone into jail is by making friends with the jail authorities. Most of the prisoners are provided cell phones by some of the jail authorities. This is the most rampant of the problems, police authorities say. There have been instances when jail authorities have given prisoner's cell phone for a paltry bribe of even Rs 1,000.
Some prisoners often manage to smuggle the cell phones into jail. In some of the jails it was found that the checking of the prisoners was not strict and many had slipped the cell phones into their pants and smuggled it in. There have been cases where the cell phones have been smuggled in by concealing it under the arm pit too investigations have found.
The problem in Kolkata:
There is a growing problem of prisoners using cell phones in Alipore jail at West Bengal. The state's investigating wing, CID has written several times to the jail authorities to ensure that cell phones are not used.
A cell phone with a prisoner is extremely dangerous. We have seen in the past terrorists using cell phones and plotting attacks and also escapes. The CBI says that if kingpins in monetary cases are given cell phones then it makes the job very difficult for investigating agencies.
The kingpins from jail tell their accomplices to move the money out to safe locations. By the time the investigating agencies can seize the money it is already moved out.
When the cell phone helped investigations:
The use of cell phones inside the jail can act as a double edged sword. Take the case of fake stamp paper racket kingpin Abdu Karim Telgi. The investigators were aware that he was using a cell phone in jail. Instead of seizing it immediately the investigators listened in to his conversation.
In the Telgi case, at first there was absolutely no information available with the police. However with a cell phone in the hand Telgi continued to do his business from his jail cell. He went up to the extent of getting people contracts too. However what the police did was listen in to the conversation and then carry out arrests apart from building a very strong case against him.