Authorities at Puzhal Central prison continue to carry out surprise checks in the premises, following the leak of photographs that showed that prisoners were being given special treatment. As part of the latest search conducted on Thursday, officials confiscated electronics, cookers and edible items from several cells, the Times of India reported.
The raid began on Thursday evening and ended late in the night. 29 television sets, 28 radios, four pressure cookers, 200 kg of basmati rice, 50 kg of dal, 75 kg of maida flour, 60 litres of cooking oil and cots were seized. During a previous check, authorities had retrieved TVs, phones and USB chords from prison cells.
A report in The Hindu states that cots from some of the cells had been rented out by the staff of the prison hospital. Prison officials, however, have reportedly maintained that there was nothing wrong in certain inmates enjoying differential treatment.
Last week, a news report by Tamil newspaper Dinamani published pictures of prisoners inside the Puzhal Central Prison. The inmates are seen in boxer shorts and t-shirts, holding mobile phones, wearing branded shoes and sitting on cosy beds. One photo even showed a table full of home-made food in casseroles for the inmates.
Speaking to TNM, Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) Ashutosh Shukla said that the leaked pictures were from the Class-A ward of the prison, where prisoners are allowed access to certain facilities. However, he admitted to irregularities in the usage of cellphones and said an investigation was underway.
The officer also said that some prisoners were found charging their cellphones with the help of television sets installed in the prison, which are meant for recreational purposes of the inmates. These television sets have since been removed, albeit temporarily.
â€śThe television sets belong to the prison. It is available in all blocks of the prison. We are studying on how to install the television in a way that doesnâ€™t allow charging of cell phones,â€ť he said.
Admitting to the laxity of the staff, the prisons chief says that it is not the first time illegal items have been brought inside the prison. â€śAround 10 days ago, we found that ganja had been smuggled into the prison. A case was registered and the person concerned was also arrested. It is a continuous process of vigilance. If connivance is found, we will take strict action.â€ť