S. Vijay Kumar

Inmates adopting novel methods to smuggle in goods

“We want to have scanning machines in central prisons”

Frequent, surprise checks to be held at all hours

CHENNAI: The State Prison Department will seek the expertise of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to train its staff on advanced frisking methods, Additional Director-General of Police (Prisons) K.R. Shyamsundar has said.

To start with, jail officials will be imparted training in physical checks by the Security Branch CID police. With inmates adopting novel methods to smuggle in contraband substances, mobile phones and other banned articles, it was imperative to have the jail warders exposed to foolproof checking techniques.

The process of providing intensive training had been initiated, he said.

“We want to have scanning machines in all central prisons. Presently, scanners have been installed at the Madurai, Tiruchi and Coimbatore central prisons. The Closed Circuit Television network will also be extended to other prisons. We have activated our intelligence machinery. Efforts were on to bring CISF personnel to the central prisons for on-the-spot training,” Mr. Shyamsundar told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

Internal vigilance

Following the seizure of ganja, mobile phones and SIM cards from inmates in recent days, internal vigilance mechanism was stepped up. “Some inmates returning to prisons after appearing in courts are trying to smuggle in ganja and sedative drugs. The contraband appears to be more for sale inside the prison than for personal consumption. We seized 250 gm of ganja from a prisoner who had concealed it in a bucket. Ganja was found stuffed in fruits, biscuit packets, footwear and coconut oil containers.”

At a high-level meeting of senior officials held on Tuesday, Mr. Shyamsundar gave instructions to conduct frequent and surprise checks in prisons at all hours.

“Those attempting to smuggle drugs do not seem to be addicts. Probably they are trying to indulge in sale of the narcotics in the prison campus. We are taking stringent measures to prevent such unlawful activities.”

On the installation of mobile phone jammers, he said the technology was not found to be effective when introduced in prisons in a couple of States.

“Instead, we are trying to provide a telephone booth on the prison premises. The facility will come with adequate precautionary measures to avoid misuse.”