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299 escape from Chhattisgarh jail
Three guards, two inmates injured

We have launched a massive search operation and shifted the injured to the hospital.
— Rahul Sharma, SP, Dantewada

Raipur, December 16
In a daring jailbreak, 299 inmates, including 110 Naxal activists, escaped from the Dantewada jail in Chhattisgarh after prison guards were overpowered in a planned action in which three guards and two undertrials were injured during firing and clashes.

The incident happened around 4.35 p.m. when the inmates were being served food after a lone Naxalite commander Sujit Kumar overpowered a jail guard inside the prison and snatched his weapon.

Kumar then fired and injured three other guards, Dantewada jail sources told PTI over phone. As many as 377 inmates are in the district prison, about 375 km from the state capital, which is located in a Naxal-infested area. The naxals snatched six rifles of the guards and one wireless set before they fled.

Rahul Sharma, Superintendent of Police, Dantewada, said the jailbreak was a “pre-meditated conspiracy” hatched by the undertrials who were mostly Naxal supporters. A search operation has been launched.

“It happened around 4.35 pm during the time when they were having food. Out of 377, 299 escaped and three jawans were injured. Two sympathisers were also injured in the fire,” Sharma said.

“We have launched a massive search operation and shifted the injured to the hospital,” he said.

“There was firing for about 15-20 minutes in which two supporters were injured and the rest managed to escape,” the SP said.

On whether there was a security lapse, he said "guards were there, they fought back but since the incident has happened, we have to admit that".

Officials said the jail was having 105 inmates, who were put behind the bars with the banned naxal outfit CPI (Maoists) and one of them overpowered a prison guard and fired shots from his weapon injuring two guards and an inmate. — PTI

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