Videos uploaded by prisoner expose chinks in Jodhpur jail security
Two videos by a prisoner posted on social media have exposed chinks in the working and security of Jodhpur Central JailUpdated: Feb 19, 2018 22:32 IST
Two videos by a prisoner posted on social media have exposed chinks in the working and security of Jodhpur Central Jail. The jail is considered high-security prison and terrorists from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir are lodged here.
The videos by Shambu Lal Regar lend credence to what Jodhpur police commissioner Ashok Rathore had said before the Rajasthan high court a while back. The police officer told the high court that Jodhpur Central jail was a breeding ground for criminals. The cop said that some criminals operate gangs from inside the jail. They freely use 4G mobile network and Internet from inside the prison, he added.
The jail administration did not take the police commissioner’s comments seriously but some cases in the past have proved that it is easy to get banned material, including mobile phones, in the central jail.
The capacity of prisoners in Jodhpur jail is 1,475, but there are 1,350 convicted and under-trial prisoners. Until five years ago, mobile phones and SIM cards were seldom recovered in the jail, but after 3G and 4G technology became available, incidents where mobile phones being used from inside the jail has increased, data from the jail shows.
The data shows three mobile phones were recovered in the jail in 2013. In 2014, nine phones were found and the number went up to 19 in 2015.
After this, the number of mobile and SIM recovered from prisoners is increasing every year.
Officials say that Jodhpur Central Jail is the only jail in the state, where 2G jammers are set up to disrupt the mobile network. Jammers for 4G technology are installed in other seven central jails of the state. Ajmer’s high-security jail also has the 4G jammer.
Officials believe that jammers installed in Jodhpur jail cannot jam 3G and 4G technology mobile phones, so the prisoners are using Android and smartphones easily from inside the jail.
The state government had announced Rs 3 crore 84 lakh for installing 4G jammers in Jodhpur jail in the year 2016-17, but no company has shown interest in installing 4G jammers for this amount.
The 4G mobile network cannot be jammed but prison officials do not speak openly about how mobile phones are reaching prisoners. Jail superintendent Vikram Singh said that regular checking of jail barracks, prisoners and staff is done. “Every case is taken seriously and if the jail staff is found guilty, necessary action is taken,” he said.
Recently, the jail authorities recovered four SIM cards during a search of a sweeper, against whom the report was lodged at the Ratanada police station.
On the condition of anonymity, an official said that Jodhpur Central Jail now is in the middle of the city. It is a densely populated area. There are many challenges related to prison security.
Last year on March 24, 14 mobile phones and 24 SIM cards were recovered during a search operation. Later, on May 15, 21 mobile phones were recovered on the roof of the ward 6, which was thrown from the other side of the wall.
Officials blame lack of security for mobile phones getting into the jail. How these get past deep-search and hand-held metal detector, non-linear junction detectors, door frame metal detector and X-ray bag scanner is anybody’s guess.
First Published: Feb 19, 2018 22:32 IST