Prison authorities on Saturday announced a high-level inquiry into the escape of a notorious kidnapper – serving life sentence in Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa central jail – from a government hospital during treatment.
The Rewa jail superintendent was also suspended and two of his deputies were removed from their posts in the matter.
Balinder Singh, 41, admitted to Rewa’s Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital for treatment of a spinal ailment on Thursday, escaped from the hospital early Friday morning. He had been kept under the single guard custody owing to the alleged shortage of police personnel at Rewa police lines and guards at the jail.
Taking serious note of the incident, state director general of jails VK Singh ordered suspension of the superintendent of Rewa central jail, DS Alawa. Deputy jail superintendents RP Mishra and Israr Ahmad were also removed from their posts and issued show-cause notices, the DG (jails) told HT.
While Hoshangabad central jail superintendent Santosh Solanki will officiate as Rewa central jail superintendent after Alawa’s suspension, Mahesh Tikariya and RS Singh will take charge from the two deputy jail superintendents.
Two jail guards were already suspended in connection with the escape on Friday.
The high-level inquiry ordered into the sensational escape will cover all aspects, including possible role of the jail staff in aiding the escape of Balinder, who was sentenced to life by an Indore court in 2007 for the December 2004 kidnapping of a businessman, Kailesh Baheti.
Balinder had escaped from police custody in 2012 also, while he was being taken from Rewa jail to Indore for production in the case. He was arrested from Bihar many months later and later shifted from Rewa jail to Jabalpur and Ujjain central jails from where he was shifted to Rewa central jail in December 2014.
Balindar, a native of Bihar’s Aurangabad district, is a member of the inter-state Ajay Singh-Balindar kidnapping gang which executed several high-profile kidnapping in Bihar and other states during the late 1990s and early 2000.
Sources said the high-level probe will also look into the alleged lording of other jail inmates and staff at Rewa jail. It will also inquire into why Balindar despite being a dreaded criminal was sent in the custody of just two jail guards and escaped when he was under the custody of just one guard at the hospital’s ward. He was also not handcuffed when he escaped from custody.
Further, it will also be probed how frequently he got himself treated at the government hospital.
Balindar, a native of Bihar’s Aurangabad district, is a member of the inter-state Ajay Singh-Balindar kidnapping gang which executed several high-profile kidnapping in Bihar and other states during the late 1990s and early 2000
He earlier escaped from police custody in 2012, while he was being taken from Rewa jail to Indore.