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Chandigarh: Burail jail warder concealed drugs in his undergarments 

Gets 1-day police remand: 25-yr-old was caught at jail gate on Sunday, was trying to smuggle in heroin, charas and tablets

punjab Updated: Jan 16, 2018 13:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Burail jail,jail warder,jail warder concealed drugs
Vivek Kaushal, 25, in a Chandigarh court on Monday.(HT Photo)

Vivek Kaushal, 25, the Burail jail warder arrested for carrying drugs — allegedly to be supplied to the inmates — had concealed the contraband in his undergarments.

Kaushal is a temporary staffer who was working and staying at the jail complex for the past three years and hails from Sanaur in Patiala.

Around 3:44pm on Sunday, he told head warder Harbilas at the gate that he was to relieve the kitchen barrack warder, who had some urgent work. His duty was from 4pm to 8pm. The authorities were already suspicious of Kaushal’s involvement in smuggling of drugs into the jail.

PIL led to arrest
  • The Burail Model Jail authorities were already suspicious of Vivek Kaushal’s involvement in smuggling of drugs into the jail. An undertrial who was lodged there two years ago had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Punjab and Haryana high court, alleging that some inmates were getting regular supply of drugs.
  • Though the jail authorities had denied it, they had also initiated an internal inquiry into the allegations.
  • The jail staff had recovered a small quantity of drugs from some inmates, following which they had zeroed in on Kaushal.

Upon his search, the other warders — Harbilas, Sanjay Kumar and Sikander Singh — recovered two pouches hidden in his underwear. Kaushal was allegedly carrying 880mg heroin, 6.6gm charas and 385 tablets of habit-forming drugs.

After the matter was reported to the senior jail authorities, a case was registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act at the Sector-49 police station. After his arrest, Kaushal was also removed from service.

‘Was a courier’

“The accused was handed over to the police to ascertain his source of drugs. He was just acting as a courier,” said Om Prakash Mishra, UT deputy inspector general (DIG) of police, who holds the charge of IG (prisons).

Police are now scanning the call details to trace the inmates and the persons who paid for the drugs apart from the suppliers.

Police on Monday sought Kaushal’s three-day remand, but the court granted only one day. Kaushal’s defence lawyer argued that the contraband was not recovered from his possession. The defence opposed the police plea for remand stating that in Kaushal’s disclosure statement, a man named Deepu has been named who used to supply the contraband to him, and he directly had nothing to do with it.

Police said they need to interrogate the accused to know from whom and where he used to get the drugs.

Drugs on demand

According to the initial police probe, Kaushal was provided drugs only on demand and after getting the entire amount in advance.

He used to sell the drugs at exorbitant rates, which could be as high as 10 times the rate at which they are available outside, said police. The drugs were provided only to select jail inmates. Deals were done on phone. The inmates used to provide the number of the person who would pay for their drugs.

Police are now scanning the call details to trace the inmates and the persons who paid for the drugs apart from the suppliers.

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 13:07 IST