chillums, mobile phones, fancy razors, exotic condoms... No it's
not the flea market we are talking about. Welcome to the standard
fare in Goa's oldest and most secure - the Aguada Central Jail.
The shocking revelation came when a serial killer, Mahanand Naik,
45, originally imprisoned for murdering over a dozen women but now
acquitted in six cases, was accused of harassing a rape victim by
messaging and calling her from a phone while lodged in the jail,
which was once used to house freedom fighters rebelling against
the colonial Portuguese regime.
A complaint by Bailancho Ekvott, a women's rights NGO, to the
Ponda police station said that Mahanand had been telephoning and
texting a 26-year-old woman from the Aguada jail. He had tried to
rape the woman a couple of years ago before his arrest.
He has been part threatening her and part professing his love,
even as the trial in the rape case nears completion.
"This amount to harassment of the victim, that is why we filed the
complaint," said Auda Viegas, the convener of the organisation.
The victim's deposition is key because Mahanand has already been
acquitted in six of the murder cases, has appealed against the
life sentence in one case and is being tried in the other five
cases, as also the rape case.
Viegas said that Mahanand (who is already married) told the victim
that he would marry her when he was out of prison.
Although a probe has been ordered by the police and prison
authorities, the incident once again brings into focus the
smuggling in of contraband within the prison premises.
Previous raids at the prison has yielded gadgets and other
seizures which would put Anjuna's flea market, famous for its
trinkets, to shame.
A state prison department official told IANS about the contraband
and other innovations which were seized during a raid a couple of
"There was a bottle of packaged water with a hole. Initially we
thought that it was just lying strewn around, but when we examined
it closely we realised that it was a makeshift chillum for charas
and ganja," the official said.
He said that articles as unusual as baby dolls, knives, erotic
decks of playing cards, as well as an assortment of cigarettes,
drugs, even a range of condoms, mobile sim cards all of which were
secreted in cracks, between matting, inside television panels at
the jail, which is housed in a historic and picturesque fort by
the Arabian sea.
Behind the prison lies the Fort Aguada beach resort, operated by
the Taj group of hotels.
In 2010, the Inspector General of Prisons (IGP) had started
another probe after it surfaced that David Driham alias Dudu, who
had been arrested on a drug peddling charge, had been found
updating a Facebook account from the Aguada jail. Dudu has since
Mahanand's possession of a cellphone, therefore, does not come as
Jail Superintendent Gopal Parsenkar said that the prison
authorities were examining the charges made in the Bailancho
"It is an official matter. I cannot say anything. But we are
looking into the complaint," Parsenkar told IANS.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)