Viyyur jail superintendent to face action over illicit phone calls by inmates

Thiruvananthapuram: The prison authorities have decided to crack down on illicit phone calls being made by convicts and officials who are found wanting are set to face the music.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police (Prisons, Northern Zone) M K Vinod Kumar has recommended stringent action against A G Suresh, Superintendent of Central Prison at Viyyur, in the controversial case of jailed criminals using phones.  

Jail DIG handed over the report, which kept the jail superintendent under suspicion of anti-government activities and other offences, to DGP (Prisons) Shaik Darvesh Saheb. The report also recommended a detailed probe against the jail superintendent.

DIG Kumar took up the department-level probe based on a police report that Rasheed, imprisoned in the Ayyanthole apartment murder case, and Kodi Suni, convicted in TP Chandrasekharan murder case, were making regular phone calls to their associates outside. Rasheed was an assistant in the superintendent's office for about a year.

The report referred to the presence of Sandeep Nair and Sarith P S, accused in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case, in the jail to raise suspicion that the superintendent had indulged in anti-government activities. 

It was also found that Rasheed and other dreaded criminals enjoyed much freedom in Viyyur. They allegedly used phones at will and frequently made calls to their contacts. Officials who questioned them were threatened into silence. 

The superintendent censured the officer, instead of congratulating him, for confiscating the phone from Rasheed. Some of the officials who led the raid on the cells were transferred. The report pointed out a serious breach of discipline and security in the jail block where dreaded criminals have been lodged. 

The report has also included four suspension orders that were earlier issued to the superintendent, besides the statements of prison officials and prisoners. 

Kodi Suni's statement that Koduvally-based gold smugglers in collusion with a senior jail official had contracted two other prisoners to eliminate him, too, has been included in the DIG's report, which, however, stated that no corroborative evidence was found for the criminal's statement. 

The accused official and prisoners denied Suni's charge. The DIG recommended including Suni's allegation under the purview of the crime branch probe.

The DIG's report will be forwarded to the chief minister with the jail chief's recommendations.

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