Chandigarh: Punjab Government has introduced video conferencing facility in jails and courts to check frequent incidents of escape of undertrials during production before the judiciary.

The video conferencing facility has already been launched in 10 jails and 32 courts at the cost of Rs 1.48 crores while in phase-2, it will be introduced in 16 more jails and 24 courts at cost of Rs 2.23 crore, Jail Minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur said on Friday.

The move aimed at reducing the chances of escape of undertrials while being taken to courts for production for extension of their judicial remand.

"This step would ensure the production of under trial prisoners in courts through video linkage and would result in expeditious disposal of the cases of under trial prisoners. It would also prevent smuggling of contraband substances through under trials," he said.

To check drug trafficking in jails in connivance with jail authorities, X-ray machines are being installed for detection of narcotics and other objectionable material as a pilot project at Central Jail Amritsar, Jalandhar and Kapurthala.

Besides, CCTVs have been installed in seven central jails and six district jails to monitor jail premises and movement of prisoners.

The government would soon install such cameras in other jails also.

A flying squad has also been constituted to conduct surprise checks in the jails.

"The state government is fully geared up to tackle drug smuggling in the jails and is keeping a hawk's eye on the activities of the jail authorities and inmates and their activities would be constantly monitored," he said.

Drug de-addiction centres have also been set up in the eight prisons of the state.


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