BSNL to help Punjab block 4G cellphones inside jails | Chandigarh News

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BSNL launches add-on data plans for post-paid users

PATIALA: The Punjab government has finally woken up to the rampant misuse of mobile phones by jail inmates and is launching a pilot project at the Patiala Central Jail with advanced jammers provided by public sector behemoth BSNL.

The prison cells, where some of the dreaded gangsters including those who had escaped from Nabha maximum security jail are being kept, would be the first covered under the pilot at the Patiala jail. If successful, these jammers would be installed to cover the entire premises of the prison and later, the project would be replicated at all jails across the state.

Punjab jails minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who was in Patiala on Friday to inaugurate ‘Jail View Cafe’, said the pilot project had been given to the BSNL initially for three months and if it was effective in curtailing use of 4G phones within the high-security cells area of the central jail, the same model would be introduced in other jails.

Earlier, the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) used to install the jammers on the jail premises which had been successful in jamming the second generation (2G) and third generation (3G) networks. However, these jammers had unable to block the 4G communications using which, six inmates of the Nabha Maximum security jail, including six gangsters and two militants, had managed to execute the sensational jailbreak in the November 2016, with the help of their associates outside the jail.

These gangsters and militants had remained off the radar of the police as well intelligence agencies as the jammers installed at the Nabha maximum security jail had not been able to restrict the 4G communications.

Randhawa said a proposal to operate the new jammers that are to be installed around the high-security cells at the Patiala central jails on solar cells was also being considered. He said till such jammers are installed to cover the entire areas of the state jails, dreaded criminals or the elements who can use 4G from within the jail can be separated from others and moved the into high-security zones in each jail.

The minister said the profit from the sale of food and other items being produced by the jail inmates like furniture and stationary would be used to fund better upkeep and facilities at the jails. He said a proposal to set up welfare boards within each jail was also considerations.

The minister said the probe ordered against 14 jail officials, who had been accused of helping terrorists lodged at a state jail to make calls to their operatives in Pakistan had been completed and strict action against the guilty was likely to be taken soon. The minister also downplayed the ‘Referendum 2020’ claiming that those organizing such an event had vested interests. He said there was no support for such referendums in Punjab as it was being supported by the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.

Now eat at Patiala jail cafe

Jails minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Friday inaugurated the Jail View Cafe on the premises of the Patiala central jail, which would be offering food cooked by the inmates to the general public. Food would be served at Rs 90 per plate and money earned from the sales would be used for the welfare of the inmates, the minister said. He said after taking charge of the jails’ department, he came to know that jail food was much in demand as many approached the authorities with requests to have ‘jail ki roti’ as they believed it could ward off the effects of adverse planetary influences as per the Indian astrology.

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