Officials of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption allegedly seized “unauthorized” television sets, pornographic videos and other prohibited articles from the Puzhal Central Prison premises in a surprise check here on Friday.

During the operation that commenced around 1 p.m. and went on till late in the evening, special teams led by seven Deputy Superintendents of Police conducted searches along with officials of the District Inspection Cells. The search cleared by the Director General of Police (Vigilance) Bholanath and the Director (DVAC) K.Ramanujam was conducted under the direct supervision of the Joint Director (DVAC) Sunil Kumar, sources said.

While four colour Television sets were seized from the ‘A’ class cells of prisoners, the pornographic CDs were found in the restroom of warders located on the prison campus. “We are investigating whether the obscene videos were for the use of prisoners who had direct access to Television. Unauthorized articles such as beedis, cigarettes, knives and scissors were also found. The seizures were made in Puzhal Central Prison – II where about 1,900 remand prisoners are lodged,” a senior DVAC official told The Hindu.

He said some unaccounted cash was seized from the general interview area, dispensary and ‘A’ class cell. “We are registering a case in this regard. Investigation is on as to how the banned articles found their way into the prison despite the stringent frisking. In one of the cells, we found an inmate in possession of seals and stamp-pad of prison officials. There is also excess stock of food grains… the records seem to be manipulated.”

Stating that the search was continuing, the official refused to divulge whether it would extend to other prisons in the campus. The Puzhal prison campus houses two central prisons and a special prison for women.

When contacted Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) K.R.Shyamsundar said surprise checks were also being conducted by the prison staff at regular intervals. “If there is any dereliction on the part of the prison officials, we will take departmental action. We are awaiting the report from the DVAC in this regard,” he said.

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