Patiala, October 3
The role of senior jail officials has come under scanner following the escape of ‘A’ category gangster-cum-drug peddler Amrik Singh from the Government Rajindra Hospital on October 1.
Today, the Prisons Department suspended two jail warders for laxity and has issued a show-cause notice to two senior jail officials for their failure to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Documents in possession of The Tribune suggest that despite being intimated in written by the Police Department that Amrik could escape during the court hearing or a hospital visit, the jail officials did not follow the SOPs.
“Following specific intelligence inputs it is intimated that Amrik Singh can get himself admitted to a hospital on one pretext or the other. During which he can get help from the gangsters and escape,” reads a letter shot to the Superintendent, Central Jail, Patiala on July 29.
The letter written by the Patiala SSP further states that whenever Amrik Singh is taken for the court hearing or to the hospital, “he should be taken under proper security cover, to avoid his escape”.
Contrary to the recommendations, the jail officials took Amrik to the hospital with only two jail warders, one of whom was allegedly not with the accused, when he escaped.
Sources said the decision to shift Amrik to the hospital with two jail warders was taken by the Deputy Jail Superintendent, Varun Sharma.
Manjit Singh Tiwana, Superintendent, Central Jail, said, “We have suspended warders Navdeep Singh and Satpal Singh for laxity. A show-cause notice has been issued to Deputy Superintendent Varun Sharma and Assistant Superintendent Harbans Singh.”
Amrik, a resident of Dedhna village in Patiala, had been allegedly involved in drug smuggling since 2004 and was facing at least seven cases under the IPC, the NDPS Act and the Arms Act. “Amrik is also instrumental in interlinking gangsters of various states. His links with gangsters abroad and drug mafia is an open secret,” said senior cops.
He is said to be a brother of PO Avtar Singh, involved in the Jagdish Bhola drug case. Amrik was considered a vital link between the cross-border heroin cartel and local peddlers.
Leader of the Opposition Partap Bajwa also raised the issue in the Vidhan Sabha today highlighting laxity on the part of the authorities that led to the escape of Amrik.
Seniors not informed
Even after Amrik’s escape, senior cops weren’t informed about the incident. Jail officials intimated the police post located at the hospital. A senior cop
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