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Jail raid for arms draws a blank

Siliguri, Dec. 5: A team comprising a bomb disposal squad, anti-sabotage team and officials of Siliguri metropolitan police, today raided the special correctional home here following a tip-off that two under-trials had firearms, but the no weapons were found.

A senior official of the state correctional services termed the four-hour raid as a “routine exercise”.

Police sources said officials of the special correctional home had received a tip-off that two prisoners, who had been arrested for carrying drugs, possessed two sophisticated firearms. “We started a search in different wards and every nook and corner of the correctional home and finally, left at 2.30pm. No arms were found during the raid,” said a source.

The jail has eight wards, where 330 prisoners are lodged. The jail and the premises are under the watch of 58 guards.

“It is impossible for any prisoner to possess a bomb or a gun inside the correctional home without being noticed by the guards,” said a jail official.

Biplab Dasgupta, the deputy inspector general (north) of state correctional services, was present during the raid. He told journalists that the raid was a “routine exercise”.

“As a routine exercise, I visited the special correctional home here today. During such visits, metal detectors are used inside prisons to check whether any unwanted item has been kept. We took the help of the intelligence wing as it can find any explosive even if it is buried six feet under the ground,” Dasgupta said.