RTI | Tihar prison denies details of jammers and cellphones seized in March
Earlier this year, news reports reported that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) team, which was investigating the bomb threat outside the residence of businessman Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai, took possession of two cell phones recovered from Tehseen Akhtar, an inmate at Tihar prison in Delhi. .
Tehseen Akhtar is the alleged leader of the Indian Mujahedeen (IM), a terrorist group and housed in Tihar prison. The phones were recovered on March 11. He has reportedly been using these phones since October of last year.
The use of a cell phone by an inmate in Tihar prison has raised many questions about its security arrangements. Tihar prison is part of the high security penitentiary premises equipped with telephone jammers.
India Today filed a Right to Information (RTI) petition with the Tihar Jail Authority in March, when reports also indicated that detainees were using Telegram (a messaging app that requires an internet connection to function) to communicate.
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India Today requested the following information in connection with the RTI:
1. How many telephone jammers does the Tihar prison complex have?
2. Please indicate the name of the jammers and the year of their installation.
3. How much money was spent on them?
4. How many of these jammers are able to block 4G signals?
In response to this, the office of the Director General of Prisons, Headquarters of the prisons, Tihar said that questions 1, 2 and 4 are “related to the security of Delhi prisons, the details of the security equipment if they are shared, may put the security of Delhi Prisons at risk and this information cannot be provided under section 8 (g) of the RTI Act 2005 â.
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According to reports, phones were found on the premises of Tihar prison and had been used. This meant that the safety equipment had not prevented prisoners from using cell phones. The prison authority, however, declined to share details of how the jammers were bypassed.
Regarding the cost of the jammers, the Tihar Jail Authority said: âThe amount of Rs 6,87,66,267 [over Rs 6.87 crore] was spent on the purchase and installation of jammers.
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