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Thursday, 8 March, 2001, 13:38 GMT
India parliament silences mobiles
Indian parliament
MPs repeatedly ignored requests to turn phones off
India's parliament has installed jamming devices to stop mobile phones from disrupting proceedings.

The deactivators were installed following repeated unheeded requests to members of parliament to switch off their phones during sessions.

Indian President K.R Narayanan
Mobiles interrupted President Narayanan six times in one speech
The move follows a recent budget speech by President KR Narayanan, which was interrupted no less than six times by bleeping phones.

Following the speech, Lower House Speaker GMC Balayogi and the Upper House Chairman Krishan Kant secured the approval of leaders of the main political parties to install the signal jammers.

Interference

The deactivator generates a strong interfering frequency which cuts off the cell from its base station.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan told journalists that the jammers would cost just over $1,600 each.

He said the instruments were portable and could be installed anywhere, but would not interfere with microphones and close circuit cameras in the House.

They would also not affect the communications system of the elite Special Protection Group which is responsible for the security of the Prime Minister and former prime ministers.

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20 Sep 00 | South Asia
Indian telecoms disrupted
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