Mumbai: The city crime branch may write to the state prison authorities to investigate how a mobile phone, SIM card and battery were smuggled into the Arthur Road jail and used by a quadruple murder suspect, Uday Pathak. He has been taken into crime branch custody for allegedly running criminal activities from within the jail.
The vigilance department of the state prisons is checking out the lapses and will submit a report to the inspector general of prisons. However, the use of a phone highlights the urgent need for jammers at the state’s most sensitive prison. “Five mobile firms have given demos but nothing has been installed. It could be delayed due to some technical reason,” a jail official said.
In December 2005, a cell phone, some batteries and SIM cards were recovered from gangster Chhota Rajan’s aide D K Rao.
Rao, who was booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, is currently out of jail. TOI had reported how phones were being used by Rao and other Dawood gang members in the jail. Officials blame the security lapse on the delay in installing jammers, priced Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh.
The prison’s vigilance squad conducts surprise checks but inmates are often tipped off. “We take precautions to prevent smuggling. After every incident, we review the problem and try to control it,” the official said.
The phone used by Rao was provided by three constables posted there, officials said. Rao, arrested for opening fire on a police team and attempting to kill them in 1998, was sentenced to a decade in prison.
In 2010, Devendra Naidu (40), a robber, allegedly belonging to the Rajan gang, was caught at the gate of the jail while trying to smuggle in a liquor bottle and a cake. Sources said Naidu was carrying in the stuff to celebrate Rajan’s birthday.
The Times of India, April 18, 2014