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Updated: February 23, 2013 09:24 IST

Tihar Jail requests for five full-body scanners to check smuggling

Staff Reporter
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Tihar Central Jail Director-General of Prisons Vimla Mehra briefing the media about various reformative and rehabilitative activities at the jail in New Delhi on
Friday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
Tihar Central Jail Director-General of Prisons Vimla Mehra briefing the media about various reformative and rehabilitative activities at the jail in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Faced with the problem of prisoners smuggling prohibited articles into the Tihar Central Jail, its administration has sent a request to the Centre for procuring full-body scanners to check this menace.

Addressing its annual press conference, Director General of Prisons Vimla Mehra said dealing with inmates also involves dealing with “creative and fertile” minds which evolve new methods to smuggle prohibited articles such as mobile phones inside prisons.

Responding to a question, Ms. Mehra said in 2012 seven prisoners were found in possession of mobile phones. She said prisoners use their body cavities to smuggle in phones and hoodwink the security staff.

Ms. Mehra conceded that “both human failure and equipment failure” were responsible for mobile phones making an entry. She said at times, individual parts of mobile phones are smuggled in and then assembled. To nip the problem in the bud, the jail administration has sent a request for five full-body scanners to be installed in the jail premises. The proposal is under consideration and the scanners are expected to be installed by the end of this year.

Besides effective measures such as body scanners and installations of more mobile jammers, Ms. Mehra said the administration has taken strict action against all those indulged in illegal import.

According to Ms. Mehra, strict action is taken against anyone breaking the rules and a case is registered every time a mobile is found inside the jail. “It might affect them (the accused) in many ways. Their remission requests could be cancelled and they could be prohibited from meeting anyone if found guilty,” said Ms. Mehra.

Acknowledging that drugs were another cause for concern, Ms. Mehra said in 2012 four prisoners were booked for possessing drugs.

Citing cases where action has been taken against the jail staff for colluding with inmates including high-profile ones by providing them undue privileges, Ms. Mehra said their policy was zero tolerance for officers whose integrity is questionable.

“In 2012, we conducted raids after such complaints were received and suspended 13 officers. Departmental action was initiated against 35 staff members of which 25 were given major punishments,” she said.

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