Attack On Abu Salem Makes Govt Act On Year-Old Proposal
Mumbai: A week after the attack on gangster Abu Salem in Taloja prison, Maharashtra’s nine central jails have been equipped with electronic security equipment.
“The proposal for electronically equipping jails had been with the government for ayear. But only cellphone jammers had been installed, that too on trial basis. It is the attack on Salem that prompted the latest development,” said a prison source. The equipment include cellphone detectors and jammers, doorframe and handheld metal detectors, walkie-talkies, bag scanners, and CCTV cameras.
There is also a move to give jail guards better weapons. At present they use outdated .410 rifles, but soon they will be given self-loading rifles (SLRs). “Jail guards with SLRs will be posted at the main gates and outside anda cells. More than 50 constables and officers are being trained in Thane on handling SLRs. This will be the first time that jail staff will have a weapon similar to that used by the state police,” the source said.
Speaking more about cellphone jammers, he said that among the jails where it was tried was Arthur Road. “A powerful jammer was installed there. But residents of nearby buildings complained that their phones were getting jammed, following which mobile operators asked jail authorities to remove the jammer. We hope such issues are properly resolved this time round.”