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High-end security systems for Gujarat jails
Anil Nair in Ahmedabad | October 20, 2006 10:01 IST
Gangs involved in activities like drug peddling and extortion inside jails in Gujarat will now face a hard time with the installation of hi-tech security systems able to detect even tiny traces of explosives and narcotics, apart from arms.
The Sabarmati and Vadodara Central jails are the first in the country to be installed with a high-end security system like the Explosives and Narcotics Trace Detector, which is a hand-held narcotic and explosive detector, a senior police official said.
"Both the Central jails have been provided with the devices following a recomendation by a committee that studied the requirements after a series of incidents took place within the jails in the last one year," Gujarat deputy inspector general of police (jails) H R Gehlot told PTI.
Incidents of gang rivalry-related attacks and sectarian incidents occured within the high-security and overcrowded Sabarmati Central jail early this year.
An undertrial, Chetan alias Battery, was also stabbed to death inside the jail.
"The need for installing this sophisticated security system arose following Chetan's death and other attacks on jail inmates by their rivals. Also, there were some reports of drug peddling within the high-security premises," Gehlot said.
The equipment was procured for the two jails two months ago at a cost of Rs 25 lakhs by a Delhi-based government of India-run company that deals in high-end security system, he said.
The ETD is used to scan the presence of even miniscule quantity of explosives and narcotics.
Security officials handling the sophisticated equipment explained the functioning of the device and said, "A swab is passed through or around the object and runs it through the detection machine. The machine, weighing about 40 kgs, can detect quantity as small as 100 nanograms (1 billion nanograms is one gram) and takes about 10 seconds to scan a person or luggage."
"The highlight of this equipment is that it can detect microscopic quantity of explosives (containing both chemicals and bilological agents) and narcotics that bulky machines cannot detect," he said.
The jail authorities have also given hand-held metal detectors to guards at all barracks following the attacks on inmates with and are also in the process of installing a mobile phone jamming device at the cost of Rs 90 lakh.
A recent report tabled in the state legislative Assembly indicated that inspite of several measures taken recently the Sabarmati central jail was still crowded as it has 4,067 inmates, against its capacity of 1671 inmates.
The Centre had recently decided to install ETDs at several crucial places like airports and railway stations following the growing threat of terrorist strikes, senior police officials said.