New Delhi: Eleven mobile phones and over 250 sharp-edged items like surgical blades were sneaked into the high-security Tihar Jail in the past three years but were seized by authorities before they could be used by inmates.
While six mobiles were recovered in the first four months of this year, five were seized last year along with SIM cards. There were no mobile recoveries in the previous two
years though two SIM cards were recovered in 2008.
"There is a surge in the number of seizures of mobile phones this year. In the first four months itself, we have seized six phones," a senior Tihar official said.
A total of 255 sharp-edged items like surgical blades, nails and iron rods were seized in the past three years, including 20 such articles this year till April. Last
year, the figure was 69.
"2007 topped the list with 95 such seizures followed by 71 in 2008," the official said.
The official said the Tihar administration has taken a number of measures like installing mobile jammers to check the use of mobile phones in jail premises.
"We have mobile jammers installed in the Tihar. We also have an extensive CCTV coverage in the prison campus to keep a watch on the activities of prisoners," he said. Intensive frisking of inmates at the entry gate is also done, he said.
"We are also keeping a strict watch on terrorists to ensure that they do not get hold of any mobile phone. They are kept in high security wards, thereby restricting their
interaction with ordinary category prisoners," he said.
The official pointed out that the number of mobile phones seized in Tihar was not very large compared to other prisons. He cited the case of Jaipur Jail where over 355 mobile phones and 112 SIM cards were seized in raids in the pa st one year.
Mobile phones and sharp-edged weapons are listed under prohibited articles in prisons. According to the Prisons Act of 1894, any person found possessing a prohibited item inside the jail is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or fine not exceeding Rs 200 or both.