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Use of body cavities for smuggling drugs, phones inside Punjab jails on rise

NEW CHALLENGE Punjab jails sans body scanners; from 225 cases between 2012 and 2015, the number has shot up to 400 since 2015 to date

punjab Updated: Jul 19, 2017 09:36 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Smuggling in PunjabJail,Punjab jail phone smuggling,Jail drugs
The prisons department caught 225 persons using body cavity for smuggling drugs and cellphones inside the prison in three years between 2012 and 2015. However, such cases shot up to 400 since 2015 to date.(HT Representative)

Smuggling mobile phones and drugs in body cavities is not confined to movies only, as the rise in this ugly method has left the Punjab prisons authorities shocked amid non-availability of body scanners inside jails.

The cases of using body cavities for smugglings have increased in Punjab jails in the past two years, throwing another challenge before the jail authorities, which were till now focusing on heightening the vigil to check smuggling inside the prison by installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and deployment of more guards.

The prisons department caught 225 persons using body cavity for smuggling drugs and cellphones inside the prison in three years between 2012 and 2015. However, such cases shot up to 400 since 2015 to date.

An inmate in the Amritsar Central Jail died in May last year due to infection when he was trying to bring a pack of “bidis” in his rectum. The inmate was produced before a court where one of his relatives gave him two packs of ‘bidis’. Two days later, he complained of severe pain and in the medical check-up, four “bidis” were found in his rectum, which led to severe infection.

On June 10 this year, an inmate, Rajvir Singh, was caught carrying a cellphone inside his rectum and when the jail staff suspected his movement, as he was not able to walk properly, he was asked to do sit-ups, which led to the recovery of the phone.

The data obtained from the jail department revealed that it was mainly men who are adopting such ugly means to carry mobile phones or heroin inside jails. The authorities have recovered more than 20 mobile phones, concealed in rectum, being smuggled inside the jail this year. Videos about recovery of mobiles phones from the rectum by the Punjab jail authorities are also on the social media. Sources say whenever the authorities launch a crackdown to check use of mobile phones in jails, inmates hide them in the body cavities.

“It’s a dangerous act. Mobile phones can burst inside the body part. Moreover, chances of contracting an infection are also very high. But some inmates are risking their lives,” said medical expert at the Kapurthala central jail Dr Abhishek Gill.

The easy mean adopted by inmates for smuggling is a new challenge for the authorities and they are now taking help of sniffer dogs to check such activities.

“It’s a different challenge. We don’t have body scanners inside the jails and depend on sniffer dogs that are also not readily available. So, only a routine check or close monitoring of the inmate when he enters the jail is the only option,” says a senior prisons department functionary.

Stuffing the body
  • Most inmates hide heroin and cellphones, ‘bidis’, cigarettes in their rectum
  • -This can lead to infection resulting in death
  • -In absence of scanners, the jail authorities have to depend on CCTV footage
  • -Sniffer dogs is an option, but they are also not readily available

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 09:31 IST