Amritsar, December 17
Jails have become a breeding ground for cross-border smugglers and gangsters, while concerned authorities and the state government has failed to curb the easy availability of prohibited materials, including cell phones and drugs, in the high security jails.
This became clear from the recent rocket propeller grenade (RPG) attack at the Sarhali police station here. One of the suspects identified as Ajmeet Singh was lodged in the Goindwal jail and he coordinated with the perpetrators from the jail complex with the help of a phone.
A total of 62 mobile phones have been seized in the Amritsar Central Jail in the past one month.
Repeated investigations into instances of seizures of drugs, arms and explosives smuggled from across the India-Pakistan border had exposed the chinks into high security jail premises in the border districts.
According to police officials, one of the prime reasons of sneaking cell phones inside jails was their close proximity with densely populated areas beside presence of black sheeps in the security. Due to close proximity, unscrupulous elements were throwing phones, cigarettes and narcotic substances inside the jail.
Further, the state government had failed to take adequate measures for ensuring and evolving foolproof system to stop the sneaking of prohibited materials inside the jails.
After coming to power, Punjab Jails Minister Harjot Singh Bains had talked about introducing RF technology besides geo-mapping technique to end the problem of smuggling and illegal use of cell phones insides jails. However, these were yet to see the light of the day.
An official of a Special Task Force said the matter had been repeatedly taken up by higher authorities with the government which has also expressed concern over it. Nevertheless, till the time new techniques are adopted and implemented at ground level, the threat remains.
Notorious cross-border smugglers and gangsters are in touch with their handlers across the border and on foreign shores and were involved in sneaking of explosives and arms with the help of drones. Recently, a notorious gangster, Sajan Kalyan, lodged in the Amritsar Central Jail, was found possessing a smart phone.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations) Mukhwinder Singh Bhullar said: “Higher authorities are aware of the issue and have taken up the matter at appropriate levels.”