On an average every second day a prisoner escaped from the jails in the State last year. The National Crime Record Bureau’s (NCRB) latest report says that 147 cases of escape from custody were reported from Madhya Pradesh —the highest from any state in the country.
In all, 177 persons escaped from police custody. They include the ones who escaped from jail or from hospital while undergoing treatment or on way to court or from lockup. Maharashtra with 140 cases (158 escapees) and Bihar with 96 cases (118 escapees) stood second and third respectively.
In all 1461 persons escaped from jails across the country last year. DGP AR Pawar admitted that inadequate police force was the main reason for the escapes. ‘There is no separate force to take prisoners to courts. Because accused and undertrials are taken to other cities for court hearing also, negligence of the accompanying policemen also leads to such escapes,’ he added.
Pawar said that owing to paucity of jail vans it is difficult to arrange transport for every undertrial to be taken for hearing.
Insiders in the police admit that the escapes from custody are quite high in the State. One of the worst such cases was the escape of members of Gadaria gang from police custody nearly five years back. Only recently Venugopal Vinod, a convict, who was being taken to Chennai in connection with a case, managed to give a slip to the police personnel accompanying him.
During the recent Prisoners’ Day function at District Jail, a convict Sartaj, who was in a dance group, managed to escape. “Often policemen in the Reserve Police Line, who are more depressed are asked to accompany the criminals to hearing and the criminals at the slightest opportunity make good their escape”, said a police official on conditions of anonymity. “Mostly the sick prisoners who are sent to hospital for treatment escape as the security there is not tight enough, ” he added.
Often liquor addiction amongst some policemen and lure of bribe too caused such escapes,” he added. However, police officials claim that a majority of the escapees are re-arrested though sometimes delayed.
Prisoner escapes from jail
ONE PRISONER of Sagar central jail escaped while another failed in his attempt on Thursday. Two jail employees have been suspended and the city magistrate has been requested to inquire into the incident. Jail superintendent Sanjay Pandey Raju Patel and Phalwan Singh Lodhi used a ladder to jump the wall. Raju was caught after he fell down.