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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Probe panel submits report on Gujarat jail tunnel digging case

PTI  Ahmedabad, April 12, 2013
First Published: 22:52 IST(12/4/2013) | Last Updated: 22:53 IST(12/4/2013)

A three-member high-powered committee which probed a failed jail break bid in Sabarmati Central Jail by digging a tunnel, submitted its report to the Gujarat Home Department on Friday, a top official said.

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"A report has been submitted by the committee on the tunnel digging case," principal home secretary SK Nanda told PTI on Friday.

"Though I have not gone through the report, the probe focused on negligence of prison authorities, as terrorists were able to dig a 214-ft tunnel without their knowledge," Nanda said.

On February 10, jail authorities had stumbled upon a 214-ft long tunnel allegedly dug by 14 of the Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts accused inside Barrack Number 4, known as 'Chhota Chakkar', of the Sabarmati Central Jail, to escape.

Sensing the gravity of the incident, the Gujarat government immediately handed over the investigation to the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) Ahmedabad and at the same time formed a three-member state-level committee to probe the incident and fix accountability.

The committee was headed by senior IAS officer MS Dagur, IPS officer Shivanand Jha and state Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) director JR Vyas.

It studied various reports submitted to it by the jail administration, police, FSL and Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in connection with the tunnel digging case, a home department source said.

After the revelation of the tunnel, the state government suspended two jail officers. The crime branch, which is investigating the case, has carried out custodial interrogation of 14 of those involved in the serial bomb blasts case.

On July 26, 2008, almost 20 simultaneous bomb blasts across the city had killed 57 people.

A total of 68 blast accused are lodged in the Sabarmati Central Jail as their trial been ordered to be held within jail premises because of security reasons.

Out of the 68 accused in the case, 14 were lodged in the barrack where the tunnel was dug.


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