With its back against the wall because of the rise in incidents of cell phones getting slipped into prisons in Haryana, the home department has decided to install jammers in at least four of the total 19 jails in the state by next month.
Additional chief secretary, home, PK Das told HT that a fund of over Rs 6.5 crore has been sanctioned for the jammers, which, to begin with, will be installed at prisons in four districts. “Since jammers are required in all the prisons, these will be installed in other districts in a phased manner,” he said.
Spike in incidents
Senior department officials said this menace has been a major cause of worry for the department in recent years. The previous Monday, a mobile phone was recovered from the central jail in Hisar, fifth such incident in the same jail since January this year.
In Gurgaon, an employee of the Bhondsi district jail was arrested last Saturday while allegedly trying to take drugs and 35 mobile phone SIM cards into the prison to sell these to the inmates at higher prices.
In November 2015, officials of the Rohtak district jail recovered a mobile phone from the premises.
Although such recoveries have been commonplace in the state, the issue hit the headlines about three years ago when a police team, while zeroing in on some phone numbers from which calls were made for ransom to two Panchkula-based businessmen, learnt the source was – of all the places – Ambala central jail.
This had led to the recovery of more than 20 cell phones from the jail, following which the department had also taken action against about 10 officials for dereliction in duty.
Senior officials admitted there have been a number of incidents of mobile phones getting recovered from inside the premises of jails in the state off and on since the past few years. “Jammers will check the menace to a great extent,” said a senior official.
The four districts that will be covered in the first phase have not been decided yet.
O There are 19 prisons in 18 districts (Hisar has two jails), and none in Panchkula, Fatehabad and Mewat
O Against the capacity of about 16,000 inmates, there are about 18,000 people lodged in these jails
O Besides the recovery of mobile phones and SIM cards from Ambala, Hisar, Rohtak and Gurgaon jails, authorities have also seized drugs from inmates