Crackdown in jails uncovers porn, SIM cards and scissors


Lucknow : A sudden sweep of Uttar Pradesh’s prisons led the authorities to make a huge haul of mobile telephones, SIM cards, cash, belts, cigarettes, scissors and improvised knives from prisoners.

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The raids were carried out simultaneously in each of the 63 prisons across Uttar Pradesh’s 70 districts Sunday afternoon and continued until late in the night. In all places, district magistrates and senior superintendents of police jointly led the raiding teams.

Said state police chief Vikram Singh: “The raids were necessitated as part of our exercise to bring to an end unlawful activities being carried out by outlaws from behind the bars.”

At the high-security prison at Muzaffarnagar, policemen recovered a CD player with about 40 CDs of films including pornographic movies.

“Some inmates had managed to improvise serving spoons into knives,” the police chief said.

In the notorious Meerut jail, a wall-fan was found to be in use by a gangster. Likewise, the Naini jail at Allahabad was found to be housing all the arrested henchmen of absconder criminal-turned-MP Atiq Ahmad in a common cell, in total violation of rules.

The Uttar Pradesh Police had earlier announced a reward for anyone giving the whereabouts of Atiq Ahmad, wanted in connected with a murder case.

Barely two months back when the exercise was started in a few districts, the authorities had faced much opposition from the inmates, who even went on a rampage in Sultanpur. There a free for all followed by police firing led to the deaths of three people including a jail warden.

“We must sanitise the jails and our objective is to make it loud and clear to criminals that they will no be allowed to have their way,” Vikram Singh told IANS.

While admitting the connivance of officials on duty, Principal Home Secretary J.N. Chamber said: “Sure enough, the kind of things found inside the barracks of many jails could not have been possible without the active connivance of those supposed to enforce the law in jails.”

“Once we get a detailed report, suitable action will be taken against the guilty. We will also initiate other improvements in the jails to bring an end to misuse of prisons by criminals.”