The Presidency jail authorities on Saturday suspended jailer Srikanta Mondal and warder Ruplal Majumdar hours after Aftab Ansari revealed to the investigators that he had received the mobile phone — found in his cell last Monday — from Majumdar. A head warder and his subordinate have already been suspended in this connection.
In a startling revelation, Ansari, the principal accused in the American Center attack lodged in Presidency jail since June 20, 2002, told sleuths that Majumdar had supplied him the cellphone after he insisted on getting it to keep in touch with his associates outside the jail.
Two senior officials, Anup Tripathi and S. Dandapath, were asked to probe the matter after jail officers, acting on a tip-off from the detective department of city police, conducted a surprise raid in Ansari’s cell on Monday night and fished out a mobile phone and a Rs 500 note from under his mattress.
Tension mounted in the jail on Saturday when the suspension order was served on Majumdar, who is also a member of the CPM-controlled Kararaksha Samity (Pashchim Banga). Several union members registered a protest against the move. “But we want those responsible to be severely dealt with, no matter which union they belong to. The incident has exposed a clandestine nexus between warders and jail inmates,” said Gopal Sarkar, secretary of the RSP-controlled Pashchim Banga Kararaksha Samity.
In a report submitted to the inspector-general of prisons, Joydeb Chakraborty, during the day, the two-member team indicted Majumdar for supplying the cellphone to Ansari. “Majumdar has confessed his guilt, but refused to divulge from where he had managed to procure the phone,” said an officer.
The investigators also felt that there might have been some “monetary transaction” between Ansari and Majumdar.
P.D. Mondal, deputy inspector-general of prisons, said his department will hand over the case to the police to find out how the phone had reached Ansari.
Another jail official confided that all 74 warders had to undergo a test identification (TI) parade in the past four days in Presidency jail during which Ansari had identified Majumdar as the supplier of the cellphone. “This is a sensitive issue and that is why we interrogated almost all the officials,” said a sleuth.