AHMEDABAD: More than 200 have been seized from 30 jails, including the high security Ahmedabad central jail, since 2016. But authorities are still not aware “officially” how these cellphones are smuggled into jails. Cops probing the cases say most inmates claim they smuggle cellphones into jails after they return from court or hospital.

Prisoners are frisked when they are taken out of the jail for any reason — for production in court or for treatment at hospital, for example. So are they not checked when theyreturn?

No jail official has ever been arrested for helping a prisoner smuggle in a cellphone. “Only those with cellphones or those from whose barracks cellphones, batteries, or sim cards are found are arrested,” an investigator said.

In the latest case, a cellphone was found at the Ahmedabad central jail on Tuesday from the Shanti Niketan yard, barrack 1. A battery and a sim card were also recovered. An FIR was registered at the Ranip police station of the city and the probe was handed over to the special operations group (SOG) of the city police. In November last year, cellphones hidden behind the picture of a goddess were found in the barrack that houses Amit and his brother Sumit Bhatnagar. They are accused in a Rs 2,654 crore bank fraud case. The barrack is also home to Kishoresinh Rathod, the son of former MLA Bhavsinh Rathod. Kishoresinh Rathod was arrested in connection with the seizure of methamphetamine worth Rs 270 crore. Biju Salla, a Mumbai jeweller who is charged with attempted hijack, was also housed in the same cell. DGP, jails, Mohan Jha admits there are lapses in security and jail staff bungle while frisking prisoners. A meeting to recruit 500 new jail security staff was held on Wednesday at the main jail office. “To plug such loopholes in the security system, we are recruiting 500 people in addition to the recently recruited 500,” Jha said.

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