To check smuggling, 3 Punjab central jails to have full body scanners by July - Hindustan Times
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To check smuggling, 3 Punjab central jails to have full body scanners by July

Jan 10, 2022 01:06 AM IST

After getting the government nod, the department has sent a requisition to the Punjab Police Housing Corporation (PPHC) for the procurement of body scanners

JALANDHAR: To curb smuggling of drugs and mobile phones into state jails, the Punjab prisons department will install full body scanners in central jails by July this year.

To curb smuggling of drugs and mobile phones into state jails, the Punjab prisons department will install full body scanners in central jails by July this year.
To curb smuggling of drugs and mobile phones into state jails, the Punjab prisons department will install full body scanners in central jails by July this year.

After getting the government nod, the department has sent a requisition to the Punjab Police Housing Corporation (PPHC) for the procurement of body scanners. There are 25 jails, including nine central prisons, in the state, having 18,470 prisoners against the total capacity of 23,776, according to the statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2020.

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Additional director general of police (jails) Praveen Kumar Sinha confirmed the development and said: “We have plans to install body scanners in three central jails in the first phase with a budget of around 6 crore sanctioned by the state government. “These will be low-intensity X-ray machines to be installed at the entrance points to enhance the detection of banned materials into the jails.”

He said Punjab would be the fourth stage to implement this project after Delhi, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. “Physical frisking has limitations as we have to respect the religious sentiments and privacy of people. We need to use technology to counter such challenges. The names of three jails where body scanners are to be installed in the first phase will be announced soon. The process to get a clearance from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai also underway,” he added.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau data of prisons for the year 2020, there are 5,289 undertrials and 1,046 convicts related to the NDPS Act, the highest in the country, in Punjab jails. The Punjab jail department had recovered 1,086 mobile phones from various jails of the state in 2019 and 1,500 in 2017, the data reveals.

A senior official familiar with the matter said despite strict checking in the jails, inmates still managed to smuggle mobiles, SIM cards and drugs into prisons even as the connivance of jail officials can’t be ruled out. Hardcore criminals, especially gangsters, use phones for making extortion calls or run drug smuggling rackets from the jail, the official said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    A staff correspondent, based in Jalandhar covers Doaba Region of Punjab. Reports about Punjab Police, Enforcement Directorate, politics, corruption, legal, rural areas, socio-economic issues and technical education besides having specialisation in the investigative stories.

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