Police teams conduct searches at Tiruchi Special Camp

Paramilitary personnel deployed at the entrance of the special camp in Tiruchi. File

Paramilitary personnel deployed at the entrance of the special camp in Tiruchi. File | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

Teams of city police personnel conducted searches inside the Special Camp, where foreign nationals facing criminal charges are accommodated here, and seized over 150 mobile phones from the inmates on Friday, August 19, 2022.

The operation by the police comes nearly a month after the National Investigation Agency personnel conducted searches inside the camp, functioning near the Central Prison, and seized incriminating materials that linked some of the inmates to an international drug cartel besides several mobile phones.

Police sources said the searches were launched at around 6 a.m. and went on for a couple of hours. The Deputy Commissioners of Police — North, South and Headquarters led the operation in which over 300 police personnel were involved. 

Split into different teams, the police personnel checked every room looking for banned electronic gadgets and narcotic substances, said police sources.

The searches concluded at around 8 a.m with the police teams seizing over 150 mobile phones in the alleged possession of the foreign inmates, the sources said.

Sri Lankan Tamils account for the majority in the Special Camp accommodating over 125 foreign nationals. Nationals from Bangladesh, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Iran, Russia and Kenya are also accommodated in the camp which is under the administrative control of the District Collector.  The inmates were facing cases booked against them earlier for having indulged in different offences including murder, cheating possession of narcotic substances besides under the Passport Act.

Inmates protest

The surprise action by the city police personnel triggered protests by some of the inmates.  A few inmates reportedly climbed on to a tree inside the camp and another person allegedly threatened to harm himself to register opposition to the seizure of their mobile phones.

The sources said a posse of police personnel had been deployed at the Special Camp as a precautionary measure after the conclusion of the searches. 

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Printable version | Aug 19, 2022 1:53:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/police-teams-conduct-searches-inside-tiruchi-special-camp/article65786669.ece