The district administration has increased strict vigil over Ghaghidih jail after police seized SIM Cards, two pen drives, a mobile battery, two small scissors and a packet of marijuana powder during a recent search operation.
Sources went on to inform that to deal with the situation, jail administration has stepped up the vigilance and deployed additional security forces.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General (IG) Ashok Kumar Sharma, sensing the gravity of the incident has asked the East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Himani Pande and East Singhbhum senior superintendent of police Richard Lakra to submit a detailed report on the recovery and the content of the pen drives and the SIM cards.
During the raid the team frisked both remand prisoners and convicts lodged in separate blocks. They also checked more than 300 police personnel deployed in the complex for over three hours and the search operations were conducted using sniffer dogs and bomb detector.
“The recovery of SIM Cards, pen drives is a matter of grave concern and we have increased the security to deal with the situation at hand. The process to scan the pen drives, trace calls from SIM cards has also begun,” said a police official.
It may be mentioned that the three jamming devices — installed in the Central Jail in March 2011 as part of a Statewide project to beef up prison security — can only block 2G signals and, virtually, have no effect on third-generation mobile telecommunication or 3G services.
The police suspect that the inmates must be using their SIMs and pen drives. Ajit Shanker said that East Singhbhum senior superintendent of police Richard Lakra and city SP Karthik S have been asked to find out the call details from the recovered SIM cards and also the content of the pen drives. “This will help us to identify owner of the SIM cards and also know the reason for which the pen drives were being used,” said Shanker.
Jail Superintendent Olive Grace Kullu expressed ignorance on how these pen drives, SIM cards and mobile battery could be carried inside the prison “We have a three tier checking system for every prisoner and checking is carried out for every prisoner after their visits to the court for case hearing. We are investigating in to the ways through which these items were brought to the jail,” said the superintendent.
There have been frequent clashes between undertrial prisoners in the jail. Gangs owing allegiance to gangster Paramjeet Singh and Akhilesh Singh battled inside the jail on March 20, 2008. While Paramjeet was shot dead, another convict belonging to the rival group was lynched.
In the clash on Wednesday, around six undertrial prisoners including jailor Satyendra Choudhary sustained injuries.
Notably, the Ghaghidih Central Jail is spread over an area of 20 acres — set up on as large an area as Birsa Munda Central Jail in Hotwar, Ranchi. The home department had conducted a survey of the jail in June 2009 before the recommendation for fixing mobile jammers in the jail.
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We do not subscribe to the view that women should form part of the military component of peace-keeping missions.