KOLKATA: Worried over frequent use of mobile phones inside the city jails, the state is planning to develop a mechanism that can jam the mobile frequency only on the premises of the jails.

Use of cellphones, particularly inside Presidency and Alipore jails, has become a spot bother for the jail authorities. The problem is that the jammers installed inside the jails now are also having an impact in the residential areas around.

It may be noted that there was an uproar in the city a few months ago when the accused in the Park Street gang-rape case gave updates on social media from the Presidency jail. Sources said the number of cellphone seizures from Presidency jail is more than that in Tihar jail.

According to experts, if a jammer is installed it will have impact over a certain radius and the mobile frequency system in that area will be hit. “Firstly, we need to install more jammers which will only have the jail premises as its ambit,” said ADG (prison), A K Gupta.

Gupta believes that the solution isn’t hard to find. “I think we will sort out the problem within a very short time. We are speaking to several people. We need to be more cautious because the zone is high profile where we have the chief secretary’s residence and Bhavani Bhawan.”

Considering the usage of mobile phones inside the Alipore Central Jail, jammers were installed there. But those had be withdrawn because they were creating problem for the chief minister whose residence is on the other side of Adi Ganga that flows beside the jail.

According to jail authorities, in the last one year, 45 to 50 mobiles were recovered on an average from Presidency jail each month. In a recent raid at this jail where several high-profile prisoners are lodged, 350 cell phones were seized. “This forced the authorities to install jammers in the jail and it’s true that after its installation in June this year, the number of seizure came down to 15 to 20,” a jail official told TOI on condition of anonymity.

Probe revealed that most of the prisoners are provided cell phones by the jail staff only. There have been instances when jail staff gave prisoners cell phones for a bribe of Rs 1,000.

Use of cellphones, particularly inside Presidency and Alipore jails, has become a spot bother for the jail authorities. The problem is that the jammers installed inside the jails now are also having an impact in the residential areas around

Saibal.Gupta@timesgroup.com

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Source: TOI-Kol