TV screens go blank at Mysore jail!

TV screens go blank at Mysore jail!

The Central government’s norms to upgrade cable TV connections from analog to digital in tier-II cities has snatched the entertainment quota of inmates of Central Prisons Mysore.

For the past 15 days, 40 television sets in the jail have gone blank — following disconnection of cable service. Now, the inmates want authorities concerned to resume cable services by installing set-top boxes.

During the inspection visit of member of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), New Delhi, M Shivanna, accompanied by District Social Welfare Officer Rajesh Gowda to the jail, on Saturday, the inmates came out with a list of grievances to be addressed.

Quoting Chief Superintendent of Prisons P N Jayasimha, Shivanna told Deccan Herald, “Earlier, there was cable connection to all TVs. Since a fortnight, the inmates are deprived of watching TV.”

Jayasimha said, “Each of the 40 cells (35 for men and five for women) are equipped with one TV set.

Beginning from morning, the inmates are allowed to watch TV up to 10.30 pm, after which the main switch (power connection) will be turned off. Due to the cost, an average of Rs 1,000 per set top box, the prison authorities are dithering over adopting the new technology.

Sponsors

Shivanna said, he will try to impress upon the elected representatives to sponsor the boxes, in the interest of the inmates, for whom TV is the only means of entertainment.

Other demands are: release of 167 prisoners at least during the forthcoming 67th Independence Day celebrations on August 15, as was the tradition earlier.

According to jail authorities, it’s almost a decade since prisoners were released on good-conduct.

The prisoners complained of prolonged trials owing to their (prisoners) inability to make it to the courts.

The reason — according to both prisoners and jail authorities — is lack of armed police to escort the inmates. It’s the duty of the City Armed Reserve (CAR) police to provide escort.

But, CAR cites staff shortage as the reason for not providing adequate escort. Jayasimha explained to the visiting dignitary that, prisoners return to their cells after waiting for sometime for escort parties.

Five among the total 1,047 prisoners (as on July 6) are languishing behind the bars due to their inability to pay the fine amount, even after completing their term. The fine amounts are in the range of Rs 2,000 to Rs 11,000.

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