Five members of an inter-state vehicle lifters’ gang escaped from a police lock-up in Madhya Pradesh by digging a hole in the toilet wall in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Gwalior superintendent of police HN Chhari Mishra has sought a detailed report from the additional SP on the escape. Meanwhile, four cops, including university police station in charge Ajit SIngh Chauhan, have been suspended till inquiry.
The five, including the gang leader, Pradip Rathore, are wanted in several cases in MP, UP, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. They were arrested by the Gwalior police on Tuesday while they were allegedly plotting a loot in Sirol area.
Earlier, Rathore and three members of his gang, had escaped from police custody on June 20. They were being taken by train to a Raipur (Chhattisgarh) court in connection with a case. Police laxity or their alleged complicity led to suspension of five cops in this case.
Additional superintendent of police Kumar Pratik said the gang escaped from the lock-up between 2.30 and 3 am. However, the matter came to light at around 4 am. They probably took advantage of a thin presence of constables at the police station, he said, adding action would be taken if the escape was caused by laxity of the police. He wondered why only two cops were keeping a vigil on the gang members who had recently escaped from the custody of five cops. Pratik said it was a matter of probe as to how the gangmen got hold of sharp-edged tools to dig a hole in the wall. Customarily, all the accused are thoroughly frisked before they are put into a lock-up.
This is the fourth time in two years that the Rathore gang had escaped from custody. In the past, they had escaped from custody from Jayarogya Hospital in Gwalior and also from police custody in UP’s Mathura district.
Earlier, on July 1, a 50-year-old theft suspect had allegedly committed suicide in the investigation room of Seoni Malwa police station in Hoshangabad, the raising laxity angle again. Four cops, including the police station in charge RS Chouhan, were suspended in the case, which is being probed by a first class judicial magistrate.