Undertrial facing rape charge behind Goa jail `sting`: Officer

After a news channel in Goa aired footage of `sting operation` about drugs being available in Sada sub-jail, prison officials dismissed it as bluff.

Panaji: A day after a news channel in Goa aired the footage of a `sting operation` about drugs being available in highly-secured Sada sub-jail near Vasco town, prison officials today nailed an undertrial, facing rape charge, in this connection and dismissed the deceptive operation as a bluff.

The undertrial was shifted to Central jail at Aguada after the clip, beamed by the channel, showed some drug-like substances.

The channel had aired visuals of a prisoner boasting about selling narcotics like cocaine, `charas` and `ganja` to the inmates and showed availability of luxuries like television, mobiles and cigarettes, besides one of the inmates claiming that "senior officers incharge of this jail were sharing the profits made out of the sales."

Downplaying the `sting operation`, Superintendent of Prison and incharge of Sada sub-jail, Gaurish Shankhwalkar said the preliminary inquiry has revealed that nothing was amiss inside the jail, while admitting that cigarette packets and tobacco products were found in the jail during the search.

"We recorded the statements of five prisoners and officials, besides conducting a massive search operation at Sada sub-jail, after the tape was aired by the channel on Wednesday", he said.

Shankhwalkar said that during the probe, authorities zeroed in on the undertrial, facing the rape charge, and subsequently shifted him to to Central jail at Aguada.

"He (the undertrial) is psychologically unstable and was treated in the state-run Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour for two months. The entire scene shown on the television was created by him", he said, adding that the drug-like substances shown in the footage were not narcotics.

According to the official, the undertrial was "blackmailing" the prison authorities for some time now, but his threats were not taken seriously.
He, however, did not elaborate when asked to explain about what the blackmail, if any, was all about.

"He (undertrial) managed to smuggle a mobile phone
without SIM card inside the jail and shot the clip. The SIM card was not inserted in the phone as we have surveillance system in place that can catch any such activity", Shankhwalkar said.

There are 24 CCTV cameras monitoring each and every activity inside the prison cells, he added.

Sada sub-jail, a highly guarded prison, was in the news earlier for frequent escapes.