Banned substances in Belagavi jail raise eyebrows

The city police, on Tuesday, raided the central prison at Hindalga here and carried out search operations in the barracks, from wherein they recovered SIM cards, luxury goods including a television set, food items and tobacco products in huge quantities.

It was found that notorious criminals lodged were enjoying special treatment inside the barracks. Criminals like Bannanje Raja, Cyanide Manja and Pradeep Shetty are lodged in the ‘andheri' (dark) cells.

Police Commissioner D C Rajappa accompanied by DCP (law and order) Seema Latkar and DCP (crime and traffic) S B Patil and over 200 police personnel carried out the searches for three hours.

The police searched all the barracks, bags and suspicious places on the prison premises. The central prison has been in the news due to gang wars, illegal use of cellphones and narcotic substances.

According to Rajappa, the police team recovered around 37 items under illegal possession of prisoners. The police seized radio sets, beedi packets, 1.5 kg of tobacco and other items. The raids were conducted in the backdrop of the upcoming elections.

A TV set was recovered from the cell where Bannanje Raja is lodged. The raids have brought out serious lapses on the part of prison officials.

The officials failed to provide an explanation to the police officials over the presence of a TV in Raja's cell. The TV is required to be installed at a common place in the jail. It is said that the TV was shifted to Raja's cell, as there were fights between inmates over the possession of the remote control.

Senior police officials told DH said that they would be sending a report on the raid to the higher authorities. Besides they would be sending a report against officials who failed to abide by the prison manual.

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