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Crime/Disaster/Accident

Phone booths for prisoners in West Bengal jails

Kolkata, March 7 (IANS) They may be incarcerated but can now stay in touch with their families via telephone as the West Bengal government has decided to install phone booths in jails.

“We have taken up the new system so that the prisoners can at least keep in touch with their families. But there will be a special system, which will keep track and record the calls so that we can keep a watch on prisoners,” said Biswanath Chowdhury, state’s jail minister.

B.D. Sharma, inspector general (prison), said: “Each convict will be asked to give three numbers he wishes to call during his stay in the jail.

“The convicts can make calls to these three numbers only during his whole duration of confinement. The convicts can call these numbers twice a week for five minutes at a go. The time and date will be fixed by the jail authorities,” he said.

The convicts and undertrials can avail of the facility at Rs.70 per month.

A special software has been designed to record all the calls. Each prisoner will be given a specific identity code, which they need to type in before making calls.

“We will keep a track of all the calls. The calls will be recorded and screened for security reasons. If these records are needed for investigation of any case then they can be provided,” said Sharma.

The facility is currently available in Dum Dum jail only. It will be later extended to Presidency and Alipore jails.

“We are getting very good response to the scheme. Currently, we have six such phone booths inside the jail,” he said.

–Indo-Asian News Service

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( 280 Words)

2010-03-07-12:43:03