Patna, Nov 17 (IANS) Shopping for a mobile phone? Beur Central Jail in Patna might be the spot to stop at. Jail officials said Saturday that 700 mobile phones with no claimants, recovered from near the jail premises, would be auctioned Dec 8.
"The state prison department has given a go−ahead to the Beur jail to auction 700 mobile telephones recovered from near the premises in the past year," jail superintendent Shivendra Priyadarshi said.
The auction of the 'benami' mobile telephones will be held Dec 8 in the presence of a magistrate−rank official near the jail, Priyadarshi told IANS.
"There were no claimants for the phones, and since they were recovered in and around a government building, they become property of the government," he said.
Jail officials say that relatives of inmates and their friends try and sneak in mobile phones for the use of the prisoners. These phones are often raided, and the relatives sometimes leave the phones in fields, on trees, in drains and near the jail in the hope that prisoners can get to them later, with a little help from jail officials.
"Jail authorities have recovered hidden mobile telephones time and again, on tip−off," an official said.
Shivendra Priyadarshi insisted that the mobile phones to be auctioned were not recovered from the jail's inmates.
Priyadarshi said, however, that hundreds of mobile phones of different brands, including some very pricey ones, were seized from prisoners during raids this year alone.
"This is the first such initiative by any jail, not only in Bihar, but anywhere in the country," he said, adding that permission for the auction had been granted by the Inspector General of Police (Prisons).
Dozens of criminals, including politicians and Maoists, are lodged in the Beur prison.