New Delhi: It’s an open secret that mobile phones find their way in jails. But that the largest jail complex in South Asia — Tihar — can’t block Jio 4G network must have made the tech firm immensely happy. The others who are happy are prisoners who apparently have enough supply of mobile phones and network. On Tuesday, the prison authorities informed the Delhi High Court that mobile signals, especially of Jio 4G, could not be blocked inside Tihar Jail with the technology they have and state-run C-DOT has been asked to develop a prototype jammer to prevent illegal communications by prisoners.
It was only in 2019 that Tihar got 4G jammers. Before that, there were only 3G jammers. There were reports of a Rohini businessman receiving a WhatsApp video call from Tihar inmate who demanded Rs 50 lakh from the businessman. It was found that wifi was even being used from inside the prison.
An inmate last year swallowed a phone during raid and doctors had to get it vomited out of his body. Another inmate, according to reports, swallowed four very small mobile phones and then complained of pain. One mobile phone was found stuck in the rectum.
On Tuesday, the court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) initiated by it after receiving a letter from a life convict alleging that jail authorities were involved in various illegal activities such as extortion of money, the supply of drugs, mobile phones and other prohibited items. It further alleged that prisoners were being “tortured like animals” by the jail authorities. After receiving the letter in 2018 the court had asked a jail visiting judge to investigate the allegations and file a report. The judge, in his report in April 2019, informed the court that the allegation of prohibited items being found inside the prison, and of jail authorities extorting money from prisoners for providing basic right of one hour release per day, was established based on statements of various inmates.