Now, Arthur Road Jail goes on air; inmates run in-house radio centre
Mateen Hafeez | TNN | Jun 6, 2015, 06.18 AM IST
MUMBAI: Taking a leaf from Tihar and Yerawada Central Jails, Arthur Road Jail has started its own radio centre, which will be operated by the inmates themselves and aired in all barracks and high-security cells, including that of 26/11 terror attack handler Abu Jundal, via the public address system.
This first-of-its-kind initiative in one of Mumbai region’s six jails aims to provide recreation and information to inmates, besides giving them a platform to display their talent. The radio centre has not been named yet.
“We have many talented inmates. This week, we set up the radio centre in one of the rooms and began airing songs and information. We are getting a good response. Many inmates who are singers or adept at playing an instrument are keen to come on air,” said a jail officer.
Bipin Kumar Singh, inspector general of police (prisons), said, “There are many inmates who are musically inclined. This initiative will provide a platform for them to perform and express themselves without any hesitation.”
radio, they cheer up and even join in. The programmes presented by the inmates themselves include poems, songs and even mimicry,” said a jail officer.
Built in 1925, Arthur Road Jail is considered to be one of the most sensitive prisons in the country. It houses mostly gangsters, associates of underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan, blasts accused and terror suspects. While the official capacity of the jail is 804 inmates, there are 2,500-3,000 inmates at any given time—there are a few inmates who have been languishing there for more than nine years—and only 250 jail staff watching over them.
“We plan to expand the jail radio initiative to Thane jail, Kalyan prison and Byculla women’s prison. Earlier, the public address system was mostly used to air cricket commentary. Now, inmates can listen to songs too,” said an officer.