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Tihar jail lacks scanners & jammers, faces 30% security staff crunch

Tihar jail lacks scanners & jammers, faces 30% security staff crunch

  • 2015-05-20

NEW DELHI: Tihar authorities have submitted a report to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on their operational problems, highlighting the efforts to stop illegal activities inside the jail.

The jail is extremely short-staffed, the report says. About 30% of the sanctioned posts of security staff are vacant and the total number of vacancies that Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board needs to fill is 2,186.

The jail authorities have requested the Delhi government to post "young and dynamic officers" as superintendents of prisons as the work requires a lot of motivation, initiative and proactive intervention in the day-to-day handling of inmates while ensuring their safety and security at the same time.

Authorities of Central Jail have mentioned the need to increase patrolling by local police to reduce attempts to throw things inside the jail. The report suggests that police can help by increasing day and night patrolling around the Tihar complex and the district prison in Rohini while the DAP 3rd Battalion can keep a strict watch on inmates taken for court hearings.

They have also sought help from Delhi Police's special cell and crime branch for quick detection of mobile phones. "Efforts are being made to unearth mobile phones in jails by organizing regular surprise searches. To prevent the use of mobile phones by inmates from within the jails, 31 jammers have been installed. These, unfortunately, are not sufficient and do not cover all the areas inside jails. There is a requirement of 80 jammers," the report reads. The mobile phones and SIM cards seized from the inmates are sent to police for them to pursue investigation.

Describing security arrangements inside the jail, the authorities have said that trials of full-body scanners are underway. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Body (AERB), Mumbai, has completed the study on the radiation effects of the scanners on inmates and the scanners will be installed once all the approvals have been received.

Handheld metal detectors, doorframe metal detectors and FG1 security poles (portable detector) are being used to prevent smuggling of metallic objects into the jails. However, the search of body cavities of all the inmates returning from visits is not viable, the report says.

The jail has a total of 258 CCTV cameras and another 233 are being installed. But the authorities say these 491 cameras still won't cover the entire prison complex. "The superintendents have surveyed the area and sought another 1,000 cameras to effectively monitor all areas of the prison." The report has also pointed out the need to increase the number of deep-search metal detectors from one at present to 12.

Owing to the number of attacks happening inside the jail, the authorities have asked PWD to replace the metal blades of exhaust fans with plastic blades as inmates improvise knives from them and other metallic articles.

Steel plates, spoons and such items are also being replaced with plastic utensils.

Orders have been issued to search high-security wards twice a day and five search teams, headed by senior officers, have been constituted for conducting surprise checks in various jails on a daily basis. Suspected mobile users are also shifted frequently. (from the ECONOMIC TIMES)

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