The state prisons department has written to the home department requesting the sanction of phone jammers for installation in individual barracks of certain jails that have seen a rise in the illegal use of mobile phones in recent times.
While mobile phone jammers have been installed at jail premises, this is the first time they will be installed in the barracks.
“We have asked the state government to approve the purchase of more mobile phone jammers for jails. Once we get them, we plan to install them in some individual barracks,” said Meeran Borwankar, additional director general of police (prisons).
The department requested for more jammers after officials came across several instances of inmates, lodged in various jails, smuggling phones and using them to run rackets and make threat calls from within the jail premises.
Jammers have proved to be more useful than other methods, such as handheld and metal frame detectors, to curb the use of mobile phones from within jails. And while most of the jails have been installed with jammers, some are old and obsolete, while others are not in a working condition. Moreover, jammers do no presently cover the entire premises at most central jails. The jail authorities plan to install jammers at those barracks that house notorious criminals.
The Arthur Road jail, Taloja jail and the Nashik jail have seen most instances of illegal mobile use.
In April 2014, Uday Pathak, the main accused in the 2011 Kurar quadruple murders, was found to be running a gang using a mobile phone he had smuggled into the Arthur Road jail.
Earlier in June 2013, gangster Abu Salem was shot at in Taloja jail. It was later found that the shooter, Devendra Jagtap, had accepted the contract from gangster Chhota Shakeel and the two had spoken on a mobile phone, which had been