At least eight mobile phones were recovered from inmates, including gangsters, at Ferozepur Central Jail in five days.
The search intensified after the police investigation into the murder of singer and politician Sidhu Moose Wala revealed a link of gangsters operating behind bars. On Tuesday, prison officials had recovered three cellphones from a high-security barracks, where a suspect in the Moose Wala murder was housed before SIT took him in.
Punjab Prisons Minister Harjot Bains promised on Saturday to release all prisons in cellphone condition within six months. Bains, who was visiting Faridkot and Bathinda prisons, had also instructed prison officials to carry out daily checks of imprisoned gangsters and classified prisoners.
The last seizure was made during a check carried out on Saturday. Gurtej Singh, Deputy Warden of Ferozepur Jail, in a complaint to local police, said that while searching barrack number 11 a mobile phone without a SIM card was recovered. Following this, a case was registered against an unknown person under the Prisons Act.
Earlier, two cellphones with SIM cards were recovered on Friday, and two were seized from two jailed gangsters on Wednesday. In all these cases, an investigation is underway to find the source.
In 2021, 300 mobile phones have been recovered from inmates in Ferozepur prison, while 130 mobile phones have been seized this year so far. The main reason for the easy access to cell phones for inmates is the location of the prison. The prison is surrounded by a densely populated area. There have been several instances of packages containing prohibited items, including mobile phones and intoxicating objects, being thrown into the premises from outside, sources said.
“We are trying to curb the supply of mobile phones, but there are clear gaps geographically. High voltage wires and CCTV cameras have been installed along the perimeter wall of the prison, but sometimes anti-social elements manage to sneak into the prison by throwing them through the walls,” said the superintendent of Parminder Singh prison, adding that search engines have been intensified and all cases are reported to the police to trace the source.
Chief Superintendent of Ferozepur Police Charanjit Singh Sohal said some remedial measures were suggested to the superintendent of the prison and the deployment of police was reinforced around the prison.