Security was strengthened on Saturday at the ‘high security enclosure’, in which 13 persons facing terror cases were lodged, inside Charlapally central prison following reports over ‘escape plans’ of one of them, Yasin Bhatkal.
Stating that there was no hint or evidence of Bhatkal, former president of outlawed terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, attempting to escape, Telangana prison officials said that ‘yet security was tightened’. Referring to reports that Bhatkal had told his wife over phone that IS operatives would help him come out of prison, Telangana Prisons DIG K. Narsimha said that the prisoner had no access to private phones.
“As provided to all other prisoners, provision of making calls through a landline phone to any two relatives twice a week was extended to Bhatkal as well,” Mr. Narsimha. That too, in Bhatkal’s case, permission allowing him to use the landline phone was given through the trial court order, he said.
The facility of making phone calls was extended to Bhatkal from February 18, 2015. Since then, he had used the phone 27 times. All the phone calls were recorded as was done in the case of other prisoners and the phone conversations were available for scrutiny.
Bhatkal registered the names of his wife and mother in contacts list. “On seeing media reports about Bhatkal’s escape plans, we heard his recorded phone conversations repeatedly but they had no content of escape plans or IS operatives’ help,” the DIG said.
Prison authorities maintained that Bhatkal spoke Urdu and Arabic. “Persons familiar with these two languages were asked to hear the phone conversations. They too didn’t find anything suspicious,” the DIG told reporters.
Central and State intelligence agencies were informed of extending the facility of phone to Bhatkal. The recorded conversations would be passed on to the National Investigation Agency probing the Dilsukhnagar twin blasts case in which Bhatkal and others were arrested.
Bhatkal, along with four of his associates, was lodged in the prison in 2013. They were taken to Tihar jail and other places in connection with other cases they were accused of involvement.