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Prison boss cries Facebook ‘plot’

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec. 5: Six alleged hit men, accused of accessing their Facebook accounts from inside a jail where they are being held in connection with the murder of a rebel Marxist, had support pouring in from an unlikely source today.

Director-general of prisons Alexander Jacob, the man responsible for checking such alleged violations, said the controversy may have been fanned by vested interests to influence the court against the undertrials.

“It could be suspected that the evidence was scientifically manufactured to prejudice the mind of the judge (against the accused) so that they get harsh punishment,” Jacob told a media conference in Kozhikode, pointing out that the purported revelations following a sting by a Malayalam channel had erupted at a time the trial in the murder case had almost reached its final stages.

“Also, someone might have thought they will get at least six months imprisonment in this case (violation of prison rules) even if they are acquitted in the Chandrasekharan case.”

The officer said that as a policeman, he had to consider all angles and that he was of the opinion that a scientific investigation was necessary.

The six men, accused of lynching breakaway CPM leader T.P. Chandrasekharan in May last year, have been at the Kozhikode district jail since August 2012.

But their Facebook walls are plastered with regular updates, with pictures apparently taken with smuggled smartphones.

Malayalam channels had beamed the Facebook pages on Monday. It said it spoke with one of the accused, Mohd Shafi, on his phone. Jacob said he didn’t think the voice was that of Shafi and added that it had to be proved scientifically.