Cops raid central prisons across TN, seize phones and luxury items

By NT Bureau Published on Sep 16, 2018 02:28 PM IST

Chennai: Close on the heels of reports that high class facilities were provided at Puzhal prison for few of their inmates, police today launched a raid on the prisons in various parts of the State.

After the leak of photos of convicts and undertrials living what looks like a luxurious life inside the Central Prison at Puzhal, prison authorities withdrew 18 television sets from ‘A’ class wards a couple of days ago.

The crackdown came after photos of the prisoners were leaked by the police. From the photos, it looked as if the prisoners are enjoying life at a retreat and not serving time at a high-security prison.

Acting swiftly, the prison authorities removed the television sets after they found that inmates were using the USB ports in them to charge mobile phones brought in illegally. The raids were conducted at Puzhal prison yesterday and cushion beds, bedsheets, readymade dress were seized among others.

Playing down the incident, Additional Director General of Police and Inspector General Prisons Ashutosh Shukla said, "The facilities provided to 'A’ class prisoners are portrayed as luxury. Mattresses, clothes, cots, tables, private cooking and eating vessels are permitted to the prisoners of ‘A’ class as per Tamilnadu Prison Rules, 1983. There is nothing unusual. If a person can afford to wear a suit inside prison, we can’t prevent that. Wearing shorts and shoes are also permissible."

Meanwhile five inmates of Puzhal prison, who allegedly enjoyed luxurious life, were shifted to different central prisons in the State. M Mohammed Rikas (29), a Sri Lankan who was convicted under NDPS Act in 2016 has been sent to Palayamkottai.

A Mohammed Rafique (30) who was also awarded punishment under NDPS act in 2017 has been shifted to Coimbatore. R Mohammed Ibrahim (38), also convicted under the same law in 2017 has been sent to Salem.

M Mohamman Zahir (47), a remand prisoner under NDPS Act has been sent to Vellore. C Raffique alias Nooruddin (28), convicted in 2017 under Arms Act has been transferred to Tiruchy.

A senior prison official said that the inmates were shifted due to ‘security and administrative reasons’.

Meanwhile this morning, police conducted raids at Coimbatore, Salem and Cuddalore prisons. Over 500 cops were deployed for the purpose. Reports say that cellphones and few luxury items were seized during the raid.