iconimg Monday, August 31, 2015

Mohamed Thaver, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, June 28, 2013
The firearm that Devendra Jagtap smuggled into Taloja jail and used to fire at Abu Salem with, has once again raised questions on the security checks in
state prisons. This case is just one of many incidents in which undertrials have managed to smuggle articles inside jail premises.

As per security protocol, everyone including the jail staff, ought to be thoroughly frisked every time they enter or leave jail premises. However,
despite these measures, former jail officials believe smuggling of articles in exchange for money is rampant among undertrials.

Additional chief secretary (home) Amitabh Ranjan said, “Meeran Borwankar (additional director general of police -prisons) visited the Taloja jail and said that there had been a serious security breach. I told her to take stern action in this matter.”

Earlier on April 20, an undertrial had tried to smuggle in lakhs of rupees inside the Arthur Road jail prison. He was however caught by an alert security guard. “However, on most occasions these undertrials manage to smuggle articles inside with ease,” said a former jail official.

During surprise raids, officials have often found several goods that are not allowed in jail premises. Sources said in the current year, police have found SIM cards in the Taloja jail and mobile phones in Kalyan jail.

Further, in January, the Bazarpeth police arrested two persons for throwing packets of drugs into Adharwadi jail which were suspected to be on orders of some prisoners there.

A former jail official, on the condition of anonymity said that on most occasions prisoners were not able to smuggle goods by themselves. “The jail staff, usually the lower rung, are hand in glove with these prisoners,” the official said.

“While everyone is thoroughly frisked, some of the jail staff know how to work their way around the checks,” he said.