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Smuggled mobile phones ringing in trouble at Tihar Jail

Total 330 mobile phones have been recovered in the last one month in Tihar jail.

Updated: Aug 24, 2019, 12.22 PM IST
What sent officials of Asia’s largest prison into a tizzy was the recovery of at least five phones from the high security cell at Jail No. 2
(This story originally appeared in on Aug 24, 2019)
NEW DELHI: Last week, Tihar Jail authorities recovered four mobile phones that an inmate had swallowed to avoid detection by the inspection teams. Apparently, 25-year-old Anuj had acquired the tiny grey-market Chinese phones when out on parole, covered them with tape and swallowed them. He vomited out three of them, but was ironically wracked with abdominal pain and the doctors conducting an ultrasound scan discovered the fourth in the rectum. They conducted a surgery to remove the device.

These four phones were among the 330 recovered in the last one month during a crackdown on the use of mobile phones in the central prison. Sources disclosed that around half of them were found near the prison walls having been thrown in by the associates of the prisoners and the rest recovered from the cells, even from the body cavities of the inmates, as in Anuj’s case. “These days phones measuring two-three inches are available in the market,” pointed out a jail officer.

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After the exercise, Sandeep Goel, DG, Tihar, has ordered the jail officials to hold regular meetings with the police stations in the vicinity of the jails at Rohini, Mandoli and Tihar to monitor mobile phone signals originating from the prisons.

Interestingly, no mobile phones were recovered from the women’s cell at the Tihar complex.

The jail authorities said inmates often took the extreme steps of using their bodies to smuggle in banned stuff. “There have been instances when prisoners have tried to hide parts of mobile phones or tobacco pouches in their rectal cavities or even in the mouth where policemen generally do not check during searches,” the officer said.

The highest number of phones thrown across the walls was recovered from Mandoli Jail, where the walls are lower than in the Tihar or Rohini complexes. Friends of the jailed men either wrapped the devices in socks and plastic or stuffed them into rubber balls to cushion the fall.

What sent officials of Asia’s largest prison into a tizzy was the recovery of at least five phones from the high security cell at Jail No. 2, which lodges prisoners like former Haryana chief minister O P Chautala, former Bihar MLA Shahbuddin and gangster Neeraj Bawania.

The Tihar officials recovered 44 phones from Rohini, most of which were found hidden in the cells. “We are taking action against the prisoners found possessing mobile phones,” said a senior jail official.

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