Haryana jails get DTH connections

With the Haryana government,for the first time,allowing Direct to Home (DTH) satellite facilties in all jails across the state,while women inmates are engrossed in Hindi soaps,the men are enjoying the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh | Published: April 13, 2013 4:01 am

With the Haryana government,for the first time,allowing Direct to Home (DTH) satellite facilties in all jails across the state,while women inmates are engrossed in Hindi soaps,the men are enjoying the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The DTH facility,which started operating on Monday,has been extended to all inmates,including undertrials and convicts,lodged in 19 jails across Haryana. The decision follows a long-pending demand of inmates for such a facility. Moreover,there had been various instances of brawls and breach of law and order in jails,as inmates indulged in scuffles. Jail authorities consider this to be a novel way of keeping “rowdy elements” busy.

Interestingly,the state government has not spent a single penny on this facility. The television sets are owned by the inmates and they only have pooled in money for the DTH connections.

Till last week,inmates were restricted to view only four channels — Doordarshan and three religious channels telecast by Astha group network. From this week,they can watch at least 32 channels that telecast movies,serials,news and other entertainment programmes.

According to jails department sources,there are around 60 to 70 television sets in each jail. The norms permit an undertrial to submit an application to the jail authorities for a television inside his barrack. The practice of getting personal television sets inside the jail has been there for quite sometime now.

According to it,the inmate who has brought in a television in jail,gets it installed in the barrack. On an average,around 20 to 25 inmates are lodged in one barrack. The precedent is that the inmate leaves the television behind when he is released from jail.

“Inmates are allowed to watch television for two to three hours in the morning and three to four hours in the evening. During these hours,they have to form a consensus on the channels they want to watch. Since the facility has recently been launched,the inmates are very excited,” a senior jail department official said.

He added: “While the women inmates watch family dramas,the male inmates are excited about IPL. There is no harm in providing such facilities,as they remain busy.”

There are around 16,500 inmates lodged in 19 district jails (16 district jails,two central jails and one Borstal jail) in Haryana. In all,the jails have a capacity to take 16,000 inmates at a time. The figure keeps changing on a daily basis since some prisoners are released while the new ones are lodged.

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