Smartphones, SIM Cards Seized From Underworld Don Aftab Ansari at Kolkata's Alipore Jail
Ansari, who was close to Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Omar Saeed Sheikh, is an accused in the American Center attack in Kolkata on January 22, 2002, which killed five policemen.
Underworld don Aftab Ansari (right)
Kolkata: Police have seized two smartphones and eight SIM cards from underworld don Aftab Ansari, who is lodged in Kolkata’s high-security Alipore Correctional Center.
Ansari, who was close to Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Omar Saeed Sheikh, is an accused in the American Center attack in Kolkata on January 22, 2002, in which five policemen were killed.
He was arrested from Dubai international airport along with his associate Raju Sharma and was extradited to India on September 2, 2002.
Speaking to News18, state prison minister Ujjwal Biswas confirmed the haul and said, “It is a matter of concern for us, considering his profile. The seizures were made during a surprise raid on Thursday night. Our officers are investigation the case and adequate action will be taken if someone is found guilty of dereliction of duty.”
The detective department of the Kolkata Police has sent the phones and SIM cards for forensic examination. “We are trying to retrieve the calls made and received by Ansari. It is a serious issue as we have information that he was planning to escape,” a senior police officer said.
Ansari had written to the Alipore Correctional Centre’s authorities on February 17 this year, requesting for a transfer to a different cell as he felt there was a threat to his life. He alleged that he was threatened by an inmate, who was also lodged in the high-security Cell Block 1.
This is not the first time banned items have been seized from the Alipore jail. While mobile phones, drugs, liquor bottles and razors have been recovered in the past, officers are worried about the seizure of phones from Ansari’s cell, given his affiliations and profile.
In January this year, a contractual doctor of the centre named Amitabha Chowdhury was arrested for trying to smuggle mobile phones, narcotics, alcohol and even cash into the jail premises. He was caught red-handed in the presence of an eight-member special team led by a DIG-level officer.
The poor security arrangements at the facility were also highlighted when two terrorists slashed the neck of a senior jail official on December 3, 2017.
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