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'Mobile Signal Ban Near Jail Takes Us Back by 10 Years'

Residents of villages in Tamil Nadu near Puducherry Central Jail apparently suffer due to mobile signal loss, as the UT has banned cellphone towers in the vicinity of the jail.

Published: 19th March 2014 07:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th March 2014 07:48 AM   |  A+A-

Residents of villages in Tamil Nadu near Puducherry Central Jail apparently suffer due to mobile signal loss, as the UT has banned cellphone towers in the vicinity of the jail. They have complained that instead of tightening security, officials have made the move, which they claimed was against democracy.

According to a source from Puducherry, police officers found that prisoners in the jail at Periya Kalapet were using mobile phones inside the jail premises. They used to contact their associates and blackmail businessmen in Puducherry and extort money through their associates. Many times police officers seized mobile phones and sim cards from the jail during raids, and on a few occasions jail officials were suspended. A month ago, based on a Puducherry magistrate order cellphone service providers removed their signal towers in a 2.5 km radius from the jail.

Villages in Tamil Nadu such as Mathur, Kazhuperumpakkam, Kozhuveri, Kodur, part of Periya Kalapet, Kuyilapalayam, Kottakarai, Auroville of Vanur taluk fall under the mobile tower restricted area. Nearly 50,000 people, living in these villages were affected by this ban by the UT government.

“The decision to ban mobile towers is totally against democracy. Instead of tightening security in the jail, Puducherry officials decided on this move,” said Muniappan (40), a farmer from Mathur. Residents of villages in Tamil Nadu near the Puducherry Central Jail have complained that the UT’s move to ban cellphone towers in the vicinity of the prison has led to mobile signal loss in the hamlets.

A month ago, based on a Puducherry magistrate order,  cellphone service providers removed their signal towers within a 2.5 km radius from the jail.

“The decision to ban the mobile towers is totally against democracy. Instead of tightening security in the jail, Puducherry officials took this decision. Even in Kashmir the government planned to introduce only a selective ban, but here almost all networks lost signals,” said Muniappan (40), a cashew farmer from Mathur hamlet. He also said, “Our village is in the interior part. Due to this, we depend on mobile phones for many things. But this ban has taken us back by 10 years and even during an emergency we have to run to houses that have landline phone. ”

Lakshmi (29) of Kazhuperumpakkam said, “Two weeks ago, people near the East Coast Road organised a stir and blocked traffic. Officials visited the spot and promised them that measures will be taken to address the issue.

When we contacted the authorities regarding this, they said they will talk to Puducherry officials to solve the issue.”

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