Jail inmates want mobile jammers removed

Last Updated 15 May 2013, 20:29 IST

The inmates of Parappana Agrahara Central Prisons and Mysore central jail have written to National Human Rights Commission urging it to help remove mobile phone jammers installed in these two prisons citing deaths due to radiation emitted by them.

The deaths of Nanjangud-based prisoner Puttashetty in Mysore jail in December 2012 and Akram Pasha in Bangalore in January 2013, were caused by high radiation emitted from the mobile jammers, they have claimed in the letter.

‘2 died due to radiation’

In their letter to the NHRC dated March 15, 2013, the inmates have said that the two were diagnosed with radiation-induced carcinogenesis and cerebrovascular syndrome (CVS), which has been suppressed by the authorities.

Sources in the prisons and the South India cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (Sichrem) have said that the hospital authorities have confirmed that they died of CVS and the post mortem report which will throw light on their death has been suppressed.

“Puttashetty exhibited all sorts of syndromes of CVS. There were many who exhibited such syndrome, which has been found to be stated by the experts at Kidwai, Nimhans and Victoria Hospital,” the prisoners have said.

“He was suffering from a form of cancer and was earlier operated for brain abscess in the neuro surgery department of Nimhans. CVS in his case was due to exposure to radiation of mobile jammers in the prisons in Mysore, because the investigation has revealed that none of his family members had this problem,” the inmates in their letter to Chairman, NHRC have said.

Citing the Supreme Court order fixing a cap on radiation emitted from cell phone towers at 0.05 watts per square meter, the letter to NHRC chairman says that Bangalore prison jammers emit a total power output up to 300 watts.

Pointing out that the Bulgarian firm which supplied jammers to City’s prison has also supplied to the prisons in Afghanistan, the prisoners have stated that since these jammers emit more radiations they should be replaced.

SHRC authorities, on receiving complaints, deputed officers to hear their grievances. “ However the officers deputed were all police officers who conducted an inquiry before the prison authorities and the prisoners dared not to open their mouths,” the complaint said. Mathew Philip, Executive Director, Sichrem said the SHRC is vested with powers to conduct surprise raids, but this action seems to be more suspicious. He also expressed his surprise that NHRC failed to look into the complaint by the inmates.

Claim rubbished

However, a top official in Parappana Agrahara Central Prisons rubbished the claims of the prisoners regarding the jammers and reason for deaths of Puttashetty and Pasha and said: “The jammers have been tested before installation and has been installed as per the rules. It is a hidden campaign of the rowdy sheeters, who are losing out on their business of extorting money.”

Blaming a rowdy sheeter ‘Silent Sunil’ who is now in the prison, the official said there are at present 12 groups of rowdy sheeters in the prison, that are funding this campaign because they are unable to make money from prisons without using cellphones.

The NHRC, considering the seriousness of the Bangalore Central Prison, has not responded to the letter. He  said the prison has inmates from about 40 international drug mafia, 15 mining mafia and 20 arrested with terror links which includes those from Pakistan.

In additions to Sunil group there are 11 groups of rowdy sheeters headed by Kavala, Palani, Kutti, Dairy Mahesh, Robbery Giri, Cycle Ramesh, Balla, Tanveer Group, Lokesh, Korangu and Ravi Poojary groups.

Additional Director General of Police Gagan Deep, when contacted, said he is not aware of this complaint or any incident pertaining to the deaths of two inmates.

(Published 15 May 2013, 20:29 IST)

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