Mini-mobiles stashed in inmates’ rectum a pain for Punjab jail staff

Published on Nov 22, 2022 11:17 PM IST

Mini-mobile phones, smaller than size of index finger, have become a headache for the jail staff these days while 4,000 mobile phones have been recovered in last 6 months in Punjab

As per the jail officials around 70% of mobile phones recovered from the jail inmates are mini phones of a specific brand ‘Kechaoda mobile’, a Chinese company. (Representational photo)
As per the jail officials around 70% of mobile phones recovered from the jail inmates are mini phones of a specific brand ‘Kechaoda mobile’, a Chinese company. (Representational photo)

LUDHIANA Mini-mobile phones, which are smaller than the size of an index finger of a normal man, have become a headache for the jail staff these days in Punjab. In the past six months at least 4,000 mobile phones have been recovered from jail inmates in the state.

As per the jail officials around 70% of mobile phones recovered from the jail inmates are mini phones of a specific brand ‘Kechaoda mobile’, a Chinese company and the inmates smuggle the mobile phone into the jails by hiding them in their rectum area, sometimes up to three.

Mobile phones in jails have become a major security concern for the authorities in Punjab as these give easy access to hardcore criminals, including gangsters and drug smugglers, to outside world allowing them to operate their networks freely even while sitting behind bars.

The phone is less than 7cm in length and is 3cm wide. It weighs just 22 grams and is available for less than 1,000 in the market. The phones are also available on e-commerce sites.

Shivraj Singh Nandgarh, superintendent of Ludhiana Central Jail, said that the mini mobile phones are so small in size that the inmates hide them in the cracks of the walls during the surprise check by the jail staff. There are around 4,000 inmates lodged in Ludhiana Central Jail.

“On average 400 inmates from Ludhiana Central Jail go to the court for hearings of their cases daily. Some of the inmates procure mobile phones from their links in the court complex after dodging the police personnel. The inmates then hide the mini mobile phones in their private parts,” Nandgarh said.

“Aides of inmates also used to throw packets over the walls of jails from outside, which is also another way to smuggle contraband into the jail. They have increased vigil around the jail to deter it,” he added.

Further, he added that jail authorities are conducting surprise raids almost every day to recover mobile phones from the inmates.

According to police officials in case of recovery of mobile phones, an FIR under section 52A (1) of the prison act is lodged. Since the section is bailable, an inmate gets bail while still inside the jail.

“Since, we’re not able to question the inmate, the way adopted by the inmates to smuggle the phones remained a secret. The SIM cards used by the inmates used to be procured using fake identification proofs,” a police official said.

Earlier, Punjab jail minister Harjot Singh Bains during a surprise check at Amritsar Jail in October this year had claimed that radio frequency technology will be soon used in the jails to jam the mobile networks. This is the most advanced technology in the world to jam the mobile network and will completely stop the use of mobiles from the jail. Bains said that Punjab will be the first state in the country to use this technology. On September 19, the Special Task Force (STF) Ludhiana unit busted the racket of supplying drugs and other contraband to jail inmates with the arrest of an assistant sub-inspector (ASI), a tea stall owner and two inmates. The jail inmates used to sell the contraband to other prisoners.

The owner of a tea stall near the ‘Bakhshikhana’ at the Ludhiana court complex used to arrange intoxicating pills and other drugs for inmates with the help of an ASI. The inmates used to hide the contraband in their private parts to smuggle it into the jail.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tarsem Singh Deogan is a senior reporter at Ludhiana. He has 16 years of experience in journalism. He has covered all beats and now focuses on crime reporting.

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