In an audacious jailbreak, 298 inmates escaped from the district jail in the Naxal-affected Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Sunday.
The inmates, 70 of whom were Naxalites, overpowered guards, looted a dozen self-loading rifles (SLRs) and ammunition from the jail armoury and fired indiscriminately on jail staff before escaping, officials said. At least three guards and a prisoner were injured in the firing.
A total 373 inmates were lodged in the jail in Dantewada, 560 km from Raipur. The pre-planned jailbreak occurred early evening when the prisoners were being served meals. They overpowered two unarmed guards and then launched an assault on other guards.
“More than 100 security personnel have already been pressed into a search operation and the district border has been sealed,” said Rahul Sharma, SP. Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, bordering Dantewada, have put their security forces on high alert.
The Centre has issued an advisory to states to improve security and surveillance in jails across the country.