Caught with mobile phone, Kolkata jail inmate swallows device
An inmate of Kolkata’s Presidency jail swallowed a mobile phone on Monday when he was caught with it by prison officials.
Ramchandra, who committed the act, is lodged in the prison for the past one year on charges of snatching and robbery. He was later hospitalised after complaining of stomach pains.
A prison department official, who did not wish to be named, that the surveillance team got the information that a mobile phone was in the procession of the inmate.
“The surveillance team conducted a raid on Monday noon during lunch time. Ramchandra was spotted speaking on the device at a corner of the prison. As the team members chased him, he first tried to escape and when he realised he could not, he swallowed the phone,” the official said.
Minister of correctional services, Ujjal Biswas, who was unable to conceal his surprise at the incident, said, “I just cannot think of someone swallowing a mobile phone. I found it difficult to digest the information initially. I have ordered a detailed inquiry in the matter.”
Ramchandra, who soon reported having stomach pains, was taken to state-run SSKM Hospital at 4.30 pm.
“An X-ray was conducted and confirmed the presence of the three-inch long mobile phone. At night, he was shifted to M R Bangur Hospital. Doctors expect that he should be able to expel the device through bowel movement. Else, he has to undergo surgery,” said the department official.
The presence and use of cell phones inside prisons is not a new phenomenon in India but both the minister and department officials said that they have never heard of such an incident.
On June 8 this year, Amitava Chowdhury, a doctor attached with Kolkata’s Alipore Central Jail, was arrested for trying to smuggle mobile phones, narcotics, alcohol and blades inside the jail. He had 35 cellphones and a few chargers on him apart from a few kilo of ganja and a few litres of alcohol.