Phone facility extended to Vellore jail inmates

Phone facility extended to Vellore jail inmates

Inmates of Tamil Nadu's Vellore jail, where Rajiv Gandhi assassin Nalini is housed, will soon be able to make phone calls to their relatives with the prison authority all set to introduce the facility as part of its reformation programme.

The Chennai government has sanctioned Rs 1.58 crore for installation of 54 telephone booths in nine central cells and three special cells for women in the prison complex, Additional DGP (Prisons) S K Dogra said.

Regarding extending the facility to Nalini, he said, "There is no such instruction not to allow her. She too is likely to get the facility. All conversations will be recorded so there is no fear that this facility will be misused."

Dogra said the phone facility is being introduced to fulfill the longstanding demand of prisoners to allow them to make phone calls to their relatives and friends to discuss with their lawyer about their cases and also to prevent clandestine use of mobile phones inside prison.

Phone facility for prisoners was first introduced last year in Tihar jail, where a total of 20 telephone booths were introduced in all the nine jails in the prison complex.

However, the facility does not come free of cost. An inmate interested to avail the facility will have to pay for the calls made by them.

The inmates can only make calls to listed numbers approved by the jail authorities, Dogra said.

"The work of installation has been entrusted to ELCOT Chennai. All telephonic conversations will be recorded as a security precaution," he said.

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