LAHORE, Oct 15: Installation of mobile telephone jammers in Punjab jails is getting delayed reportedly for want of a tailor-made uninterrupted and specific range system.
Use of cell phones by criminals and extremists in jails has been a major challenge for law-enforcement agencies, rendering them unable to block their contacts with their handlers or patrons.
In many cases, such inmates were found to have been operating from jails through mobile phones smuggled into the barracks with and without the connivance of the superintending staff.
Official sources said on Tuesday the provincial home department had recently invited some companies concerned to exhibit their jamming systems.
Some local and Chinese, Turkish and Taiwan companies exhibited their systems at the Civil Secretariat. But the authorities found the systems contrary to the requirements of jamming phones in a specific area and without any interruption.
The systems the companies exhibited did jam cell phones even outside the Civil Secretariat and were not consistent, sources said.
They said now the government would give them specifications that fulfilled the requirement of jamming telephones only in jails and without any fail.
They said in the meantime the government was approaching some indigenous source specialising in the field. If found suitable, the government would most likely ask it to provide the purpose-built system.
When asked about the jammers used for public functions of VVIPs like the prime minister or the chief minister, sources said they too did not cover a specific area and were not persistent.
“We want a system that should not jam mobile telephones in the neighbourhood and should work without any fail. Anything else will invite protests by neighbours and allow the criminals found room to talk with the outer world,” a senior official said.