The Jodhpur Central Jail authorities have seized 17 cell phones, 18 SIM cards and three chargers from under-trial prisoners, a jail official said on Thursday. The huge seizure was made on Wednesday night in an operation conducted by jail officials, joined later by the Jodhpur police, he said.
The huge seizure of cell phones in a single-night operation, however, has put a question mark on the efficacy of the Operation Flush-Out launched four months ago in the state to curb criminal activities carried and coordinated by jail inmates outside prisons. It has also prompted the Rajasthan Prison Director General Rajiv Dasot to order a probe into the dismal number of cell phones recovered from other jails during the enforcement of Operation Flush Out during the last four months.
Despite the Operation Flush Out in place for a long time, this huge recovery of cell phones has put a question mark on the operation, said Dasot. We have ordered an inquiry into the matter and the guilty would not be spared, he added.
The Jodhpur police has seized all the phones SIM cards and registered a case at the Ratanada police station against unknown prisoners as the ownership of these phones is yet to be established. Jodhpur’s Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Bhagchand said the call details made through all SIM cards would be examined to find out who owned the phones. We had reached the jail late Wednesday night for a search operation but found the jail administration had already launched the operation, said the Additional DCP.
They had already recovered 13 smartphones and four feature phones with 18 SIM cards from the three barracks of under trial prisoners, said Bhagchand, adding that all the material was handed over to the police for further action. The seizure has taken place less than three weeks after Dasot’s visit to the Jodhpur Central Jail to inspect it as a part of the Operation Flush Out, being carried out across all jails in Rajasthan. Operation Flush Out was started on November 1 and Dasot had visited the Jodhpur Central Jail around a fortnight ago.
During the period between November 1 and Dasot’s visit to Jodhpur jail, a total of 683 search operations were conducted in all the Jodhpur division jails, including the Jodhpur Central Jail, but only seven mobile phones were recovered following all those searches. This is even though all the CCTV cameras installed in the jail is linked to the central command centre of the Jodhpur police headquarters to keep a close eye on illegal activities inside jail premises.