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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Jails in courts to prevent escapes?

Rahul Mahajani , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, November 07, 2013
First Published: 08:47 IST(7/11/2013) | Last Updated: 08:53 IST(7/11/2013)

Taking note of the recent incidents of criminals escaping from police custody while on their way to court, senior officials have recommended setting up of sub-jails in the court premises, video-conferencing of trials and handcuffing of terror accused.

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According to the statistics provided by the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the number of accused escaping from police custody is on the rise, with 514 accused having escaped between 2008 and 2012.

In 2012, the number of accused who managed to flee from the custody stood at 113, while in 2011 the figure was 112. In 2010, 110 people escaped from police custody.

Afzal Usmani, an Indian Mujahideen operative who played an important role in the Ahmedabad blasts in 2008, escaped f rom the sessions court premises at Kala Ghoda on September 20.

He was rearrested near the Nepal border by the anti-terrorism squad a few days ago.

Serial murder accused Vijay Palande had escaped while being brought to the crime branch in Andheri on April 10, 2012. He was arrested within hours.

SP Yadav, additional director general of police, CID, “We have recommended setting up of sub-jails in courts for undertrials and video-conferencing to reduce such incidents.”

Most accused escape from the police custody without using violence, and only when the security is lax, says a study conducted by the state criminal investigation department (CID).

Between 2008 and 2012, 180 men escaped from police custody when no one was watching them, while 72 fled after getting permission to attend to nature’s call.

While 140 of them forcibly loosened the grip of the policemen, 31 managed to free their hand from the handcuffs to escape.

Officials say the most preferred spot for escape is police station, followed by courts and hospitals. More number of accused booked for thefts have escaped, in comparison with those booked for serious crimes such as murder.

While 234 people booked for theft escaped in the last five years, only 34 murder accused escaped.

Statistics indicate the maximum number of accused — 204 — escaping from the police custody was in the age group of 21-25, followed by 126 accused in the 26-30 age group.

“Most young educated constables find the job of guarding the accused demeaning, thus leading to a lot of escapes,” said a senior official.

IPS-officer-turned-lawyer YP Singh said, “Constables are also bribed by the accused to let them speak to their family or make phone calls. Taking them into confidence, the accused escape when the constables are not watching.”


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