One year since Nabha jailbreak: No lessons learnt, gangsters sending birthday celebrations videos from inside jail

A year later: Gangsters sending WhatsApp videos of their birthday celebrations from inside the jail, making appearances on Facebook; 100 mobile phones recovered from various jails in past one year

punjab Updated: Nov 27, 2017 20:54 IST
Vishal Rambani
Vishal Rambani
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Nabha jailbreak,Vicky Gounder,Punjab prisons department
100 mobile phones recovered from various jails in past one year.(HT File )

A year after the sensational Nabha jailbreak raised a big question over the functioning of the Punjab prisons department, it seems jail authorities have not learnt any lesson from the incident.

Gangsters and goons, who are behind the bars, have free access to mobiles. Over a hundred mobile phones were recovered from various jails in the state during the past one year. While inmates sent a WhatsApp video of birthday celebrations of a gangster in Amritsar Jail, another gangster made an appearance on Facebook live from another jail.

Even in the Nabha ‘maximum security’ prison, where the jailbreak incident took place, four mobiles were found. “It’s very astonishing that four mobiles have been recovered from the Nabha jail, which is the only maximum security jail of Punjab,” said a police official, accusing the jail staff of being lax.

He, however, added that jail officials are threatened by gangsters and they live and act under pressure.

In Patiala district alone, the police have found 25 mobiles from various jails, but they have failed to find out how these mobiles, some of these high-end sets, land inside the prisons.

Nabha jailbreak: A year later two escapees among 8 accused still on the run

Mobile jammers not effective in 4G network

The prison department has installed mobile jammers in jails, but they are not effective in case of 4G network, which is being largely used for committing crime by making voice calls through internet, which agencies cannot intercept.

An official of Organised Crime Control Unit (OCCU) said the police are perturbed over the fact that gangsters are running their activities from jail by using mobile phones. Neeta Deol, an escapee in the Nabha jailbreak case who was re-arrested, was recently found to have access to a mobile phone in Patiala jail where he is currently lodged. A police constable and an assistant jail superintendent were booked for providing him the mobile to make phone calls.

Notably, jail official Bhim Singh was involved in the Nabha jailbreak. Gurmeet Singh Chauhan, assistant inspector general, OCCU, Mohali, said, “We can stop the activities of jailed gangsters only when we disconnect them from the world outside.”

Meanwhile, the police have provided some new weapons including self-loading rifles and machine guns to the Nabha jail, besides installing an X-ray machine at its entrance to screen the entry of visitors.

Officialspeak

Kulwant Singh, superintendent, Nabha maximum security jail, said, “Every Wednesday, there is a weapon firing drill for the jail staff, and we take stock of security arrangements in the jail. Around 40 additional security men and staff members have been deputed in the jail.”

To block the 4G network, he said, the department has already written to the head office, and a technical team will soon update the software of mobile jammer to block 4G waves in the jail campus.

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 10:10 IST