BENGALURU: It is guarded day and night. But for some powerful inmates, Bengaluru’s Parappana Agrahara jail is no prison! It is just another den where they lead a life of luxury and run their outside operations with ease, revealed police officers who have frequently raided prisons only to findthings unchanged.
According to confirmed sources, a mafia of sorts operates inside the prison with each ‘department’ having a ‘boss’ who sells or supplies mobile phones, ganja, beer, whiskey, SIM cards, knives etc. “Most of the luxury items are supplied inside the prisons definitely with the nexus of prison staff. Nothing can happen without their knowledge,” said a retired prison officer.There are various ways of sneaking in ‘stuff’ into the prisons. A former convict told TNIE that mobile phones have repeatedly come through vegetable and meat-carrying vehicles and also through inmates who go to court in the escort vehicle.
“There is an understanding among the staff who come for escort duties and also those under-trial prisoners who go to court regularly. Mobile phones are given to the convicts who will be in-charge near the gates. They in turn pass it on to the ‘boss’,” a former prisoner told TNIE on condition of anonymity.
It is interesting to know that every ‘transaction’ that happens has a code word, said the convict who spoke to TNIE. Reportedly there are several signals provided when the ‘maal’ (stuff) is scheduled to enter the prisons. “At every step there are people assigned for the same. Once the ‘job’ is done, each department boss hands over the cash to the convict who did the job,” he said.
According to sources, the code word for mobile phone is ‘box’; liquor is ‘water or neeru’; knife is ‘onion’ or ‘eerulli’; ganja is ‘hoge’ (smoke).
Recently, after repeated reporting of incidents of smuggling of mobile phones and drugs into the prison using vegetable and meat carrying vehicles, entry of all vehicles carrying daily food supplies was banned.
The vehicles were stopped at the entrance and small trolleys were used to collect goods and transfer it to their factories and store rooms inside. However, that doesn’t work, said a retired prison official.
According to the officer, bosses inside the prison make more money each time there is a raid.
There are designated places and people whose job is only to ensure that their ‘maal’ is safe. Of them are even senior jail staff. Transactions runs in lakhs too at times, said sources. "If there is really a decent raid, then officers will definitely find cash of at least Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh with the prisoners," said an official.
According to the ex-convict, the cash is usually kept in the library, kitchen, soap factory etc.. After the so-called raids, the rates of cigarattes increases from Rs 25 to Rs 200-Rs 300 for one cigarette. One beedi then becomes Rs 100, the ex-convict said. The ganja which comes from Kerala costs up to Rs 6,000.
There is a huge finance operations too. There are people who lend money for an interest of Rs 200 per week for an amount of Rs 1,000.