Proposal for ISD calls for inmates rejected

Home dept cites security concerns, turns down Jail dept proposal for ISD facilities for inmates in 3 correctional homes

Citing security concerns, the home department has rejected the correctional services department's proposal regarding introduction of ISD facility in three high-security correctional homes in Kolkata, where more than 2,000 foreign nationals are lodged.

The proposal was placed before home secretary Basudeb Banerjee in November to enable foreign nationals lodged at Dum Dum, Presidency and Alipore Central Correctional Homes to speak with relatives at home over phone.

"The Home Department has turned down the proposal saying a lot of risk is involved in allowing foreign nationals to call their homes," a senior correctional services department official told The Indian Express. As of now, about 2,200 Bangladeshi nationals and 36 citizens of other countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Myanmar and Pakistan are lodged in these homes.

In 2010, mobile phone facility was introduced in the three homes to allow inmates other than foreigners to call relatives. The facility had to be withdrawn on October 8, 2012, after the state government failed to clear dues of Rs 11 lakh to the service provider.

To make the project viable, the correctional department had proposed installation of ISD facility, hoping that foreigners would be keen to use the facility against payment. "We had stated in the proposal that all the ISD calls would be monitored and recorded. But the home department rejected the proposal observing that there were chances of misuse," an official said.

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