Eight days after eight suspected SIMI operatives escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail, a head warder, who was suspended after the jailbreak, made stunning revelations about the chinks in the security at the prison’s B Block that housed 17 SIMI men till October 30.
Anandi Lal, the head warder, is reported to have told the police that no checking was done at the jail cells housing the SIMI operatives. He told the investigating officers that he had neither seen them being frisked nor were their cells checked in past several months.
An audio clip, purportedly of Lal’s statements, was telecast by a news channel on Tuesday. HT cannot independently verify the authenticity of the audio clip.
In the clip, Lal is said to have claimed that whenever the SIMI men were dealt sternly by the guards, the members of the outlawed outfit threatened them with dire consequences, even killing them and their family members. He claimed the higher-ups in the jail advised guards to remain “quiet” and “not intervene” when approached over the issue.
Lal also claimed several objects given to the prisoners by their kin made way to their cells sans any check, all with the knowledge of senior jail officials.
According to sources, investigations are also underway about possibility of mulaqatis (visitors) using fake signatures in the jail’s visitors’ register.
Lal has claimed that as per their daily schedule, the SIMI men were roaming outside their cells in the B Block between 6am and 7 pm on the day of the incident. Anandi Lal’s four-hour duty shift at B Block ended at 2 am, after which head warder Ramashankar Yadav and warder Chandan Singh had come on their 2 am to 6 am duty. It was during this four-hour shift that the jailbreak allegedly took place.
The police are also probing the possibility of only one lock instead of three locks being put at the B Block on that night.
HT could not contact DG (Jail) Sanjay Jain, despite repeated attempts.