3G cellphone jammers soon in four prisons: Minister

3G cellphone jammers soon in four prisons: Minister

Super-maximum security cells are also on the anvil

In the wake of growing instances of convicts gaining access to cell phones to establish contacts outside, the Prisons Department will install 3G cellphone jammers in four prisons - Bangalore, Mysore, Bellary and Belgaum. Besides, the department is keen to ban landline facility extended to prison inmates.

Prisons Minister A Narayanswamy, interacting with the media here on Wednesday, said the jammers would be installed at a cost of Rs seven crore. The department had sought the assistance of the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd, Hyderabad to install the system imported from Bulgaria. The department would also move the court seeking a ban on landline phone facility at the prisons, as there was serious misuse of it.

Narayanswamy further said that super-maximum security cells (also called super max cells) would be set up in the four prisons, to deter terrorist elements, and those from the underworld or the land mafia from building associations within the prison.  

He said that 100 such cells already existed in the Bellary prison and that he had ordered for their renovation, as they had not been in use. The Bangalore Central prison too had 80 such cells, he said, adding that the government has permitted the department to set up 120 additional cells.

These cells will be built at a cost of Rs two crore in this financial year.
Following complaints on the substandard work allegedly taken up by the Public Works Department while constructing a prison in Aland of Gulbarga, the department was contemplating lodging a complaint with the Lokayukta against the PWD officials. A 100x100 sqft plot opposite Upparpet police station in Bangalore, which had been under litigation for over two decades, would finally be handed over to the department within a fortnight after the court intervened to solve land dispute.

The plot had apparently been handed over to the department by the Mysore Maharaja to undertake welfare activities for prisoners. However, the land was under litigation as a private party had encroached upon it, he added.

There are plans to set up retail outlets to boost sales of carpentry, bakery or textile products produced by the prisoners or lease/ rent the space to generate income for prisoners’ welfare.

The department would set up a Prisons Academy in two plots (around 80x40 sqft each) available at Gandhinagar, he said. The facility would be used for administrative-related matters apart from conducting refresher course to the prisons’ staff who would be introduced to the global-level correctional measures adopted with the prisoners.

Ambedkar statue

Narayanswamy, who is also the Social Welfare Minister, indicated that the controversial Ambedkar statue opposite the Vidhana Soudha would not be shifted, even though the Metro rail works had almost reached the State Legislature.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation had not asked his department to shift the statue, and in the event of a threat to it, he would direct it to be temporarily shifted.     

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