In the past two months, Delhi prison authorities have recovered at least 348 cellphones from prisoners across the three complexes — Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli — officials said, adding they recovered 18 phones during a surprise inspection on Thursday alone.
Officials in the know of the matter said, in comparison, they usually recover less than 200 cellphones a year during raids.
“Jail officials have been directed to be more vigilant and proactive to stop the use of cellphones. We are adding more jammers across the prison complexes to ensure that smuggled phones are not used. We have set 23 goals for 2023, one of which is to ensure that the jail is completely free of cell phones. Another goal is to set up a better and efficient complaint redressal system,” the prison’s director general Sanjay Baniwal said,
In December, Baniwal suspended five officials after an inspection of the Mandoli prison complex revealed that some prisoners had hidden at least eight cellphones and eight sharp-edged objects on the premises.
He then directed officials to search for smuggled phones or face action.
Baniwal also said that around 1,000 jail inmates, likely to be released within the next nine months, are enrolled in a skill development training program under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission. “Such prisoners are trained in different skills so that they can earn a livelihood. We have selected prisoners with good conduct in prison. The plan is to empower them with a source of livelihood so that they are not drawn to crime again.”
Meanwhile, LG VK Saxena Thursday met Baniwal for his fortnightly prison review meeting.
Since December, Saxena has started meeting the prison chief twice a month and is reviewing the activities in the three jails.