The country’s largest prison, Tihar, is all set to start a virtual ‘mulakat’ (meeting) system where prisoners will be able to talk with their friends and relatives from the jail premises via video conferencing.
The jail houses over 13,000 inmates and more than half of them are from outside Delhi. This facility is expected to help such prisoners talk to their families.
“The video conferencing facility will help the family members of prisoners who stay out of Delhi. It will help reduce their transportation costs travelling to the city. We will devise a system related to the timings of prisoners who get to use this facility. The video conferencing facility will be placed across all the nine jails,” said additional inspector general (prisons) Mukesh Prasad.
The new facility is in addition to the existing system that permits prisoners to meet their families inside the jail twice a week, said jail officers.
Jail sources said that it was during the meeting that relatives managed to smuggle contraband to the prisoners.
The project, jail officers said, was in the final stages of development and was likely to start by the first week of December.
Once started, Tihar would be the first jail in the country to allow convicts to meet their families virtually.
Prasad said that any relative or friend with video conferencing system at their end can avail of the new system.
The NIC Video Conferencing division of the Central government is working on the project.
The jail has video conferencing facilities at present, but it is only used in cases of court hearings.
Some of the city courts have been connected with Tihar for the in-camera hearing of a few prisoners.
The video conferencing facility with city courts has helped reduce costs of transport and manpower of the Delhi police.
The third battalion of the police is responsible for transporting these prisoners. On an average a total of around 1,600 prisoners are taken out for court hearings every day.
The facility has also reduced the security risks involved in transporting them.