‘Ganja’, Cell Phones Among Contraband Most Frequently Smuggled Into Prisons: Parliamentary Committee On Home Affairs

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New Delhi, Sept 28: ‘Ganja’ and cell phones are the common contraband items that are most frequently smuggled into the prisons among others, according to a report of the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs.
The 245th report of the committee on the subject ‘Prison-Conditions, Infrastructure and Reforms’ made it clear that the fact came to the fore during its interactive sessions with various state and Union Territory (UT) governments.
The report was submitted in both Houses of Parliament (the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha) on the last day of the recently concluded special session that started on September 18.
“During its interactive sessions with various state and Union Territory (UT) governments, the committee was informed that Ganja and cell phones are the common contraband items that are most frequently smuggled into the prisons among others,” states the report.

Tamil Nadu state government informed that the throw method using a catapult is one of the common approaches employed to smuggle the contraband into the prisons, the Committee states in the report.
The committee observes in the report that articles like “cell phones inside the prison are used by the inmates to operate criminal activities outside the prison.”

“Possession of cell phones in the hands of the prisoners can also stir up gang wars inside jails. Usage of ganja and other narcotics in prison compromises the reformation and rehabilitation of the inmates.”

The committee, in the report, has also suggested to organise “e-Mulakat” or video conferencing to reduce the smuggling of contraband into the prison.

The committee has also noted that the prison staffs are helping the prisoners to get the contraband inside the prison.
Keeping in view the negative impact the contrabands can have on reformation of prisoners, the committee recommended enhancing frisking standards in all the state prisons.
“MHA should set benchmark frisking standards to curb the entry of contraband articles and in turn prevent gang wars. All the state and UT governments shall comply with such standards,” recommends the committee.
Further, it suggested the use of drones in prisons to keep aerial surveillance of the prison premises, and sniffer dog squads for detecting contraband.

The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs is chaired by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Brijlal who is also a former DGP of UP Police. The committee held six meetings on the subject and interacted with the representatives of the Ministry of Home Affairs, domain experts on the subject, and various state governments.
The committee also collected information from all the states and UTs on the issues of Conditions, Infrastructure and Reforms in the prison system. It had considered the draft report and adopted the same in its meeting held on August 24 this year. (Agencies)