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Lawrence Bishnoi interview: RTI data contradicts Punjab DGP's claims about Lawrence Bishnoi's jail interview

Written by  Annesha Barua -- November 02nd 2023 12:51 PM -- Updated: November 02nd 2023 12:54 PM
Lawrence Bishnoi interview: RTI data contradicts Punjab DGP's claims about Lawrence Bishnoi's jail interview

Lawrence Bishnoi interview: RTI data contradicts Punjab DGP's claims about Lawrence Bishnoi's jail interview

Lawrence Bishnoi interview: The recent interview of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi from inside a jail has sparked a wave of contradictions and concerns surrounding the use of mobile phones by prisoners, despite official denials of such activities. This incident has brought to light a series of discrepancies and raised questions about the effectiveness of security measures within correctional facilities.

RTI data on recovered mobile phones

According to information obtained through the Right to Information (RTI) Act by activist Manik Goyal, a significant number of mobile phones were seized from prisoners at Bathinda Central jail during the period from March 2022 to March 2023. The data reveals that 48 mobile devices were recovered from inmates during this timeframe, shedding light on a glaring issue of unauthorised mobile phone use behind bars.

Notably, no mobile phones were confiscated in February 2023, marking an exception in the trend. However, in March of the same year, the prison authorities managed to recover a maximum of eight mobile phones, emphasising the persistent challenge of mobile phone usage by prisoners.

Lawrence Bishnoi jail interview

During this time, gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, a key accused in the Sidhu Moosewala case, conducted an interview from within a jail. Following the airing of the interview, the Punjab government issued a press release refuting the location of the video, asserting that it did not originate from Bathinda jail or any other correctional facility within Punjab.

Official claims and contradictions

In response to the widespread public concern regarding the interview, Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav made official statements regarding security measures within Bathinda jail. He claimed that a high-security dead zone had been established in the prison, and as a result, no mobile phones had been recovered from the inmates. This dead zone was said to be comprehensively covered by jammers, rendering mobile phone usage impossible.

Furthermore, DGP Yadav stated that a sophisticated high-end technical solution had been implemented in Bathinda jail with the assistance of the central government. Under this initiative, jammers were purportedly installed throughout the facility to prevent unauthorised communication.

RTI data contradicts official claims

However, the data obtained through the RTI contradicts the claims made by DGP Yadav to refute the location of the Lawrence Bishnoi interview. The recovery of 48 mobile phones from prisoners during the specified period demonstrates the persistence of mobile phone usage within the prison environment.

These discrepancies have raised concerns not only about the security of correctional facilities but also about the effectiveness of measures in place to prevent unauthorised communication. The ability of inmates to access and use mobile phones, despite security protocols and jamming devices, underscores the need for a comprehensive and robust strategy to address the issue of unauthorised communication within jails.

The contradiction between the official claims and the RTI data further emphasises the need for a thorough and transparent assessment of security measures within correctional facilities to ensure the safety and integrity of the prison system. The persistent challenge of mobile phone usage by prisoners and its potential consequences require the attention and action of relevant authorities to safeguard against such unauthorised activities.

Recently, the city of Bathinda has witnessed a concerning surge in extortion attempts and threats made by criminal entities against local businessmen. This alarming trend has brought to light the audacious tactics employed by these extortionists, including petrol bottle bombs, intimidating phone calls, and even video calls made from within prison walls. Here's a closer look at this disconcerting issue:

Petrol bottle bombs and extortion

On October 13, Bathinda police made a significant breakthrough by arresting three individuals—Gurdit Singh, Sunil Kumar, and Rohit Kumar, all residents of Faridkot. These men were allegedly linked to notorious gangsters Goldy Brar and Malaysia-based Vicky. The police apprehended them along with a .32-bore pistol and four cartridges, highlighting their involvement in an extortion racket.

The modus operandi involved hurling petrol bottle bombs at liquor vends associated with Deep Malhotra, a former Faridkot MLA with close ties to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). These attacks were orchestrated at the behest of Vicky. When their extortion demands were not met, the accused resorted to these violent actions, targeting Deep Malhotra's interests.

The victim of these attacks, who had reportedly received threats, had refrained from lodging a formal complaint with the police. However, the high-profile nature of the case placed significant pressure on law enforcement to take action.

Silent victims and ongoing threats

Often, victims of extortion threats choose not to report such incidents out of fear and intimidation. However, there have been exceptions, shedding light on the frequent occurrence of these extortion calls.

While law enforcement takes action upon receiving complaints, the issue remains complex, and the organised nature of these operations highlights the need for a comprehensive strategy to address the challenge. Mobile phones in jails, despite official denials, continue to pose a significant concern, with reports of their recovery contradicting claims made by authorities. The situation in Bathinda exemplifies the need for a multifaceted approach to tackle extortion threats and violence while ensuring the safety of businesses and residents.

- With inputs from agencies


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