Puzhal Jail Inmates Caught With Phones, TVs; Officials Transferred

Days after photos of Puzhal jail inmates using mobile phones and TVs were leaked, the jail wardens were transferred.

Updated
India
2 min read
Photographs from a seized mobile phone showed that the ‘A-grade prisoners’ had cellphones, TVs and mattresses.
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The Puzhal Central Jail in Chennai has been at the centre of controversy, after a few photographs of non-uniformed inmates, living in the luxury of television sets, mobile phones, sports shoes and mattresses were leaked.

Photographs from a seized mobile phone provided proof of the sheer luxury afforded to certain prisoners.

The officials initiated a probe and on Monday, 17 September, six prison guards from Puzhal Prison were transferred to prison complexes in Coimbatore, Vellore, Trichy and Salem. The Superintendents of the respective complexes have been instructed to give non-sensitive assignments to these warders, as their integrity is doubtful.

Not an Unusual Thing: Prison Official

A top prison official said this differential treatment isn't unusual.

They are A-grade prisoners for whom mattresses and beds are allowed as per the rules. The TV that is shown is also provided by the prison.
Puzhal prison official

He added that the cellphones had been seized and the prisoners who were caught, were downgraded from A-class to ordinary prisoners.

‘Looks Like the Prisoners Are Happily Living in a Resort’

In one of the leaked photos, a prisoner is seen feasting on an elaborate meal served in casseroles, unlike the regular steel plates which regular prisoners eat from.

“It looks like they are happily living in a resort. It is not clear how such activities are allowed inside the high security block inside the prison complex,” a senior government official said, reported DT Next.

“Even if one or two cellphone jammers work, those jammers are not designed to block 4G signals. Most inmates lodged there use the latest phones,” a source told DT Next.

‘Cat and Mouse Game’

A puzhal prison official said that this year itself, they had “seized 35 cellphones with SIM cards and 93 cellphones without SIM cards.”

“This happens every year. It is a cat and mouse game,” he added.

Upon investigation, officials found that the prisoners had been charging their cellphones with the USB ports in the TVs. The officials said that they had removed the TVs for now and were figuring out a way to ensure that this didn’t happen again.

We have taken action against the officials as well who are responsible for such smuggling.
Puzhal prison official

Only recently, the Puzhal Central Jail was under the radar after a warden was suspended for allegedly smuggling marijuana. The drugs were meant to be given to a Pakistan spy for a premium price.

The Puzhal Central Prison is considered to be one of the most modern prisons in the country, capable of accommodating up to 3000 prisoners.

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