M A I N   N E W S

Three convicts escape from Ferozepore jail
Chander Parkash and Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepore, August 22
Three inmates of the local Central Jail — two sentenced for life for murder and one undergoing a 10-year RI for smuggling narcotics — escaped in the wee hours today.

Unconfirmed reports said the accused managed to escape even as jail staff looked on. Though some members of the staff sounded the alarm, they failed to prevent the convicts from escaping.

The district police authorities have sounded an alert and informed all police stations in this district and the police chiefs of the neighbouring districts. Two cases in this connection were registered in the city police station against the three escapees and three employees of the jail.

Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, SSP, Ferozepore, said a team comprising the SP (H), DSP (SD) and the Inspector, CIA police station, had been constituted to probe the incident. He added that this team would also report about the role of 75 PAP Battalion, which was deployed for the security of the jail. The team would also report on the security arrangements of the jail.

The three escapees have been identified as Jai Masih of Bihar, sentenced to life imprisonment by a district court in 2003 for a murder and dacoity, Shankar Bhiya, alias Ramesh Kumar, also sentenced to life imprisonment by the district court in 2002 for a murder; and Subagh Singh, a resident of Rajasthan, sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2001 for smuggling narcotics.

While one of the escapees was about 32, the other were just over 20 years of age. The three were wearing the inmates’ uniform when they escaped. The police authorities checked the Janta-Mumbai Express, which left this station at 4.40 am.

Though the jail authorities were tight-lipped about how the convicts escaped — the DIG (Jail) visited the premises to make an on-the-spot inquiry — sources said the three escapees were in the same barrack. Last night they made a hole in a common wall of a toilet and the barrack. After entering the toilet, they covered the hole with utensils to prevent light from entering the barrack. From the toilet, they entered a storeroom, from where they took two bamboo poles and used those to climb over the first inner wall of the jail.

Once over the first inner wall, they crossed a 20-foot-wide corridor between that wall and the main outer wall of a considerable height. The convicts managed to arrange an iron rod bent at one end, which they used to climb over the outer wall.

The sources said one armed security person was asked to fire at the fleeing convicts by his colleagues, be he did not do so.

Mr Swaran Singh, Superintendent, Central Jail, could not be contacted for comment. Mr Chahal, SSP, said the convicts had no connection with any terrorist group.

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