iconimg Thursday, May 07, 2015

Ritesh Mishra and Sunil Kelharkar, Hindustan Times
Khandwa, October 03, 2013
More than 36 hours after the daring jailbreak in Khandwa, the police have no clue where the six SIMI terror-accused could have vanished. Besides the local cops, crack forces of the Madhya Pradesh police's hawk unit, that specialises in anti-Naxal operations, have been deployed to scan the forests adjoining Maharashtra.

The hawks reached Khandwa from Bhopal on Wednesday morning and have begun assisting the local cops in combing the border areas.

The police suspect that the six prisoners who escaped may be heading towards Maharashtra, whose borders with MP is around 75 km from Khandwa. The area is forested, dotted with numerous villages. Posters of all the six who escaped with their photos have been pasted on buses going towards Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Senior police officials are still camping in Indore supervising the hunt. One of them, who did not want to be named, told HT, "All those who fled are extremely sharp and we know it wouldn't be an easy task to nab them. They have many escape routes and can survive in the jungles for weeks together."

The police are trying to locate them through mobile phones, but all the six haven't used cell phones since they escaped. "Now we are totally dependent on information provided to us by villagers and police informers. The intelligence agencies of adjoining states have also been put on alert," the officer said.

Ever since the escape on Tuesday, the police have searched every nook and corner of the colonies adjoining the jail, but have drawn a blank so far. The cops have even gone from house to house of such colonies like Chhipa, Gulmohar, Ganesh Tallai and  Munwada village - many of the SIMI boys belong to the area - and the city. The police are also questioning the family members of  some of those who have escaped.