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West Bengal prisoners to get phone facility (Lead)

Kolkata, March 7 (IANS) Prisoners in West Bengal can now stay in touch with their families on telephone. But what they talk will be monitored.

“We have taken up the new system so that prisoners can at least keep in touch with their families,” Jail Minister Biswanath Chowdhury said, saying the jails will get telephone booths.

Inspector General of Police (Prison) B.D. Sharma said: “Each convict will be asked to give three numbers he wishes to call.

“The convicts can call only these three numbers. They can make calls twice a week for five minutes at a go,” he said.

The facility will cost Rs.70 a month.

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

“The calls will be recorded and screened for security reasons,” said Sharma.

The facility is currently available in Dum Dum jail. 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 in Dum Dum jail,” he said.

–Indo-Asian News Service

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( 199 Words)

2010-03-07-13:39:56