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Cell found in Chagala’s cell

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 21: The staff of Jharapada special jail here recovered a mobile phone today from the cell of Akshya Behera alias Chagala, associate of gangster Raja Acharya.

Chagala and Raja were sentenced to life imprisonment by a fast track court in the city on December 17 last year for killing judo coach Biranchi Das on April 13, 2008.

Jail officials said that while they were conducting a regular check in the wards, they found a mobile phone hidden behind the electric switchboard on the wall of Chagala’s cell. “It was not a surprise check. Rather during a regular check we found the mobile phone and informed the higher authorities,” said a jail staff.

Even the jail superintendent lodged a complaint in Laxmi Sagar police station, seeking a thorough inquiry into the matter and handed the mobile phone with a BSNL SIM card to the police.

Inspector general of prisons Pranabindu Acharya said the police had been informed about the matter. “We will assist them in their investigation. Moreover, we will conduct an inquiry to know how the mobile phone found its way into the jail, despite the ban,” said Acharya.

The police said they had received a report regarding the recovery of a mobile phone from Chagala’s cell. “We even asked the accused about the matter and he said the mobile phone did not belong to him,” said a police officer. Even the jail authorities had installed a jammer to block the use of mobile phones for communicating from inside the jail to outside.

“Moreover, we would verify the ownership of the SIM card and collect the call details to know about the persons he had communicated over phone,” he said.

The availability of mobile phones inside the jail has again put the jail security in question.

On March 28 this year, a suspended police constable was arrested for extorting money from a businessman in Kedargouri area in the name of a dreaded gangster lodged in the Jharapada jail. The accused constable had told the police that the gangster, Sk Hyder, had called the trader over mobile phone from the jail.

Allegations of use of cell phone by prison inmates had surfaced several times in the past as well.

After several complaints against gangster Raja Acharya alleging that he had been threatening people from inside the jail over mobile phone, the city police had carried out a raid in Jharpada jail in November 2009 and seized six mobile phones reportedly used by the gangster.

The IG (prisons) said the jail authorities had been taking steps to stop the use of mobile phones inside the jail. Even the police said they carry out raids whenever allegations of the use of mobile phones inside the jail surface.

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