A probe into the recovery of a cellphone from the Anda cell of Yerawada Central Jail in May has revealed that the phone was used by at least four inmates lodged in the high security cell.
In the first week of May, a cellphone with a SIM card was recovered from one of the compartments of the high security Anda cell. Police said gangster Munna Shaikh, a member of the Sharad Mohol gang, was lodged in the cell at the time of recovery. This was the third case where a phone was recovered from the jail. In September 2013, a cell phone was recovered from the backyard of Circle No. 3, and another in the last week of May this year.
Mohol too was earlier lodged in the Anda cell, where he and his aide Alok Bhalerao had allegedly murdered terror accused Quteel Siddiqui in June 2012. Mohol was moved to Taloja prison in 2013. The Anda cell houses high-risk criminals, including terror case accused and members of criminal gangs.
An officer said, “We found that over 200 calls were made from the cellphone in some days prior to the recovery. The calls were not just made by the person in whose compartment the phone was found. Following a detailed analysis of the call record data, we can say that at least four persons who were lodged in the Anda cell have used the phone to make calls.”
The officer added, “The structure of the Anda cell is such that one inmate can not see each other nor can they exchange any object. This implies that the phone changed hands when these people were allowed to step out of the Anda cell for some time. A pertinent questions that arises is that how was the phone charged.
There are no sockets in the cell. This suggests that some of the staffers of the jail were involved.”
Senior inspector S A Patil of Yerawada police station said, “Some of the calls have been made to family members, while some to lawyers. We are trying to find if other calls were related to activities of the gang or any other criminal activity.” Patil refused to divulge information about the identity of the inmates, who are suspected to have made the calls.
Yerawada jail Superintendent Yogesh Desai said, “We have asked the police about the information of the calls made by these inmates and also the timings of the calls, so that we can decide who is responsible for the lapse.” The police said they were investigating if other inmates too used cellphones. The authorities have now installed jammers in the Yerawada jail.