MLCs say inmates are operating networks using cellphones

Minister for Social Welfare and Prisons A. Narayanaswamy on Tuesday told the Legislative Council that cellphone jammers would be installed in all the jails of the State in a phased manner to prevent illegal use of the gadget by the inmates.

Replying to a call-attention notice tabled by the Janata Dal (Secular) floor leader M.C. Nanaiah, who expressed concern over the recent cases of illegal arms trade that were traced to Hindalga jail in Belgaum, the Minister said mobile jammers were being installed to prevent inmates from operating a crime network from jail.

He said the use of mobile phones by inmates had almost stopped in Bangalore and Mysore prisons after cellphone jammers were installed there. Such jammers would be installed at the Belgaum central prison at a cost of nearly Rs. 4 crore. Other jails would get this facility soon, he promised.

He said the government had also decided to provide body scanners to keep strict vigil over the inmates.

‘Jails, safe havens’

Earlier, members cutting across party affiliations alleged that jails had become safe havens for criminals to operate a crime network. Mr. Nanaiah alleged that such criminal activities were taking place due to the nexus of inmates with jail officials.

He suspected the possibility of anti-national forces joining hands with jail inmates to harm the country’s economy and its security.

He demanded that the government take steps to unify the Home and allied departments like Prisons and Intelligence to help strict enforcement of law and order. Taking serious exception to the bifurcation of these departments, he said splitting the Home Department for political purposes had come in the way of proper co-ordination of those enforcing law and order.

Drug trade

Earlier, BJP MLC Ganesh Karnik expressed concern over the suicide of a 17-year-old girl, who was addicted to drugs, in Mangalore. Alleging that petty shops around several educational institutions in Mangalore were indulging in the drug trade, he urged the government to crackdown on them.

Congress MLC Govindaraju alleged that the drug trade was rampant even in Bangalore. He alleged that drugs were being sold near the Cubbon Park police station itself.

  • Jammers to be installed in Belgaum central prison at a cost of Rs. 4 crore

  • Other jails to get the facility soon