Initial inquiry finds voice on tape is that of Swapna

Authorities rule out possible phone recording inside prison

A preliminary inquiry by the Prisons and Correctional Services has reportedly concluded that there is a high chance that the voice on the ‘leaked audiotape’ seemingly critical of the Enforcement Directorate’s methods of investigation belonged to UAE gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh.

However, authorities ruled out the possibility that the cell phone recording had occurred after Swapna arrived at the Attakulangara Women’s Prison here as a COFEPOSA detainee. An official said Swapna seemed to recognise the voice on the tape as her own. But, she could not state clearly to whom she had spoken or when she had made the particular statement.

Director-General of Prisons and Correctional Services Rishiraj Singh told The Hindu that he had tasked the Cyber Investigation Unit of the State police to verify the genuineness of the voice in the audio clip. Simultaneously, the Prisons Department has launched an internal inquiry to get to the bottom of the controversy.

Mr. Singh said that prison authorities had allowed only Swapna’s mother, children, brother and husband to visit her. They had met Swapna in the presence of jail wardens and Customs officials.

The Prisons Department send applications to visit Swapna to Customs for vetting before granting permission. Jailors did not allow cell phones inside the prison precincts. The internal probe would also attempt to find out if any person or official had sneaked in a cell phone into the prison for the COFEPOSA detainee to communicate with the outside world slyly.

Mr. Singh said he would be constrained to seek legal recourse against BJP State president K. Surendran who alleged that the prison officials had recorded Swapna’s accusatory statement at the behest of the government. He demanded that Mr. Surendran withdraw the declaration and render an unconditional public apology or prepare himself to face the legal aftermath.

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