In a special drive, the Punjab government has recovered 710 mobile phones from prisons over 50 days. These are said to have been used by gangsters to run their operations from inside the jail.
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said the special drive was carried out between March 16 and May 10. A probe is on to find on whose names the sim cards are registered. Action will be taken against the jail staff who were involved in sneaking the phones in.
He added that the VIP culture in jails will be abolished and special cells for VIP prisoners will be removed. The VIP cells will be transformed into administrative blocks. The CM said the people lodged in the VIP cells are punished by the courts for violating the law. "They cannot enjoy facilities while serving their term".
In a video message, the Punjab CM was seen saying jails in the state will be converted into correctional facilities in the true sense. He recounted AAP had promised to stop the network of gangsters and criminals operating from jail after coming to power.
He said it is surprising how anyone can become a VIP in jail after a court punishes them. "People think the accused are in jail, but the accused are taking rest, playing badminton, and watching TV. We are going to stop this culture".
Some officers are already suspended related to the smuggling of phones, and FIRs are being registered. A special investigation team has been formed to investigate further.