Kolkata: Amitava Chowdhury, doctor of Alipore Jail has been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle mobile phones, narcotics, alcohol and razor blades into Kolkata’s Alipore Central Jail on Friday night.
Police said Dr Amitava Chowdhary – a medical professional attached to the prison – was caught red-handed around 11 pm, and produced in court the following morning. They recovered four kg of marijuana and an unspecified amount of alcohol, besides 35 cellphones, chargers and Rs 1.46 lakh in cash, from his possession.
According to official sources, the doctor assumed that he would escape suspicion because he had been working at the prison for the last 10 years. “We believe Dr Chowdhary used to make a lot of money by selling the contraband to jail inmates,” said an officer at the Alipore police station on the condition of anonymity, adding that the doctor was arrested on the basis of a tip-off.
Bengal correctional administration minister Ujjal Biswas said the doctor could be just the tip of the iceberg. “Let me tell you, he is probably just a small link in a big racket. We are trying to get to the bottom of this. It is likely that a section of prison employees are also involved,” he added.
Another police officer said that they also found electric heater coils and spices, allegedly meant to be supplied to jail inmates, in Dr Chowdhary’s possession. Prisoners are not allowed to cook in their cells.
Police later said on the basis of preliminary investigation that the money recovered from the doctor was the proceeds of extortion rackets being conducted by criminals lodged in prison. He was allegedly planning to hand it over to them.
The prison department has launched a separate probe into the incident in coordination with the police.
The authorities of various prisons across the country are struggling to stem the smuggling of contraband, especially mobile phones and narcotics, into their premises.