Prisoners in Punjab use Facebook, upload pictures

Breaking barriers

Smuggling of mobile phones in Punjab’s prisons is passe! Armed with smart phones, young prisoners in jails across the state are well-connected with the outside world through social networking sites, especially Facebook.

These prisoners are not only connected with their friends but are freely uploading photographs from inside the prison premises. Some of the photos are those of other prisoners lodged in these jails.

A look at the Facebook accounts of some of the net-savvy prisoners shows that they are not only communicating with others but are also getting comments about life behind bars.
“Kadd bahar aa rahe ho 22 G (when are you coming out brother),” is the question posed on the wall of a prisoner.

“Bro ji jamanat ho gayi ja nahi (brother, have you got bail or not),” asks another post, to which the prisoner replies: “Kithe pharawa andar hi ha asi Pateyale (No brother, we are inside in Patiala).”

A look at the Facebook pages of some of the prisoners shows that they are active on their accounts through smartphones and are uploading photographs of the jail complex, jail barracks and other inmates.

The prisoners are freely indulging in the social networking activity in prisons located in Kapurthala, Patiala, Ludhiana and Hoshiarpur, among other places.

“If this activity is going on in Punjab’s prisons, it’s a very dangerous thing and has implications for our national security. A number of Pakistani prisoners and those linked with the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) are lodged in these prisoners. Though the social networking sites, these prisoners can link to their handlers in Pakistan,” a former Punjab Police officer said.

Asked to comment, Rajpal Meena, additional director general of police (prisons), said: “I don’t know anything about this. If you have any information, please share it.”
Kapurthala Jail superintendent G S Aulakh said: “We have nearly 4,000 prisoners in the jail. It is difficult to monitor and stop all this activity.”

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