Patna, Sep 17: In yet another reminder of how criminals with political connections as well as aspirations enjoy a good lifestyle even behind bars, police seized mobile phones, cash and other items during a raid at central Beur jail in Patna early Thursday, police said.
The raid was conducted by a Patna police team along with administrative officials after a tip-off that criminals turned politicians and gangsters were using mobile phones to influence voters, threaten political rivals and trying to manage the poll campaign from behind bars.
Items recovered from the prisoners' wards included mobile phones, SIMs, chargers, cash, sharp-edged weapon and cigarettes.
Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Vikas Vaibhav said objectionable items had been seized from the wards of some powerful prisoners.
A jail official told IANS that police raided the wards of criminals turned politicians Anant Singh, Sunil Pandey, Ritlal Yadav, gangster Bindu Singh and former minister Vijay Krishna, who is convicted of murder.
"These powerful leaders enjoy all the luxuries of life inside the jail; they have smartphones, mineral water, cigarettes, liquor and cash for use," the jail official said.
Anant Singh, a Janata Dal-United legislator from Mokamah, resigned from the party in early September. Known as "Chhote Sarkar" for his muscle and money power, he was arrested in June in connection with a kidnapping-cum-murder case. Thereafter, his past criminal cases were also reopened.
Anant Singh plans to contest from Mokamah as an Independent in the coming assembly polls.
Sunil Pandey, also a ruling JD-U legislator, was arrested in July on charge of helping in the escape of gangster Sachidanand Sharma alias Lambu Sharma. A 'bahubali' legislator from Terari constituency, Pandey faces serious charges including of murder, kidnapping and extortion. He is also likely to contest polls.
Ritlal Yadav, a gangster who became a legislator in July after he won the state legislative council elections as an Independent from Patna seat, faces several serious charges, including of murder. Yadav is likely to contest the assembly polls from behind the bars or his wife will contest as an RJD candidate.
Former MP and minister Vijay Krishna, serving life imprisonment in connection with the killing of transporter Satyendra Kumar Singh, is considered close to Lalu Prasad and regarded as one of the powerful politicians of Bihar.
Prison department officials said the use of mobile phones was common in Beur jail in Patna as well as central jails in Gaya, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur.
"Access to liquor, mineral water, cell phones and pornography is possible only if an inmate bribes the jail officials and policemen," a prison official said.