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Cell phone jammers in prisons

About two weeks ago, an attorney of the civil court, defending a Maoist's case, now lodged in prison, was astonished at getting his user's phone call in the night.

The attorney was at first hesitant to get the call but when he answered, the man introduced himself as one of his customers arrested on the charge of Maoist brutality. The prisoner Maoist wished to know the position of his case and how long it could take to obtain bail.

The attorney pleased his defendant by answering his question and said him to be patient. The telephone was suddenlydisconnected and the attorney went back to bed. Next day, he essayed to make a call back but the mobile phone was inaccessible.

"Up to now, only agents of Maoist could come to me and paid charges but it was for the first time that a prisoned Maoist himself called me. He was distressed and thwarted and even had an intimidating voice as he asked how much time it could take to obtain bail," reported the attorney on state of anonymity.

The situation shows that the cell phone jamming device placed in Birsa Munda Central Prison is rather vulnerable and permitted inmates to call. Prison sources said that if the prisoner had authority and money, he could call to anybody.

IG (Jail) Vijay Kumar Singh agreed the fact that prisoners made phone calls from inside the prison in spite of jamming devices. "The jamming devices established in diverse prisons is for 2G mobile phone systems but it fails to see or debar calling in 3G systems which is available in modern shops" commented Singh.

"The guiding mobile providers are all 3G systems and therefore the phone calls made via these systems are not seen and blocked. We have requested tech upgradation and soon, the jamming devices will be upgraded to cease calls from these 3G systems," commented Singh.

He also said that to increase control, close circuit cams will be established in all the prisons which initially were established in only principal prisons and in several of the sensitive jails.

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