In a mega overnight operation, the Gujarat police conducted simultaneous searches at 17 jails across the state, during which several mobile phones, "lethal" objects and narcotic substances were recovered, officials said on Saturday.
The operation, in which 1,700 police personnel were involved with several of them wearing body-worn cameras to videograph the happenings, began on Friday night. The intention behind the move was to check if any illegal activities were taking place there and also to ensure that the inmates are getting facilities they are entitled to as per the law, they said.
The decision to carry out the searches was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi at the Director General of Police (DGP) office in Gandhinagar Police Bhavan, they said.
The places where the operation was conducted included the central jails in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot.
Minister Sanghavi and senior police officers monitored the operation live from the command and control centre in state capital Gandhinagar, while Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel inspected the operation from "CM Dashboard" as police personnel wearing body-worn cameras sent the live feed to 'Trinetra', state's command and control centre, the government said in a statement.
"As many as 16 mobile phones, 10 electronic items, 39 lethal objects, three narcotic substances and 519 tobacco products were recovered during the mega search operation in the prisons across the state," the state government said in a statement.
Talking to reporters on Friday night, state Director General of Police (DGP) Vikas Sahay had said the raids were being carried out across 17 jails involving 1,700 police personnel to find out if any illegal activities were taking place inside the jails. Sniffer dogs were also roped in, he said.
The mega surprise checking operation was started simultaneously in 17 jails after all district police chiefs and prison chiefs were connected online through video-conference, the government further said.
Besides the four central jails, 11 district jails and special jails at Palara and Galpadar in Kutch were covered in the operation, it said.
"Apart from carrying out strict operations to eradicate the evil of contraband, it is very important that human dignity and law and order is maintained in all the prisons...The operation was also carried out with the aim to ensure that all the necessary facilities available to the inmates in the jail are properly provided," stated the release.
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