In an audacious breach of jail security, at least 15 prisoners of Jharkhand’s Chaibasa jail fled, spraying pepper powder into the eyes of guards and dodging bullets of jail sentries that killed two of them — both alleged Maoists —and injuring three others.
The incident occurred on Tuesday evening at around 4.30 pm when all the 54 under-trail prisoners were being taken back to the jail campus after attending their hearings at the Chaibasa court.
The deceased have been identified as Tipa Das and Ramvilas Tanti. The injured are undergoing treatment at a local hospital.
DGP Rajiv Kumar said, “We will probe and take punitive actions if a conspiracy is found.” Deputy inspector general of Kolhan, Mohammad Nehal, called it a pre-planned conspiracy and said that Maoist support was suspected behind the incident. An internal investigation has been started, he added.
“Two have been killed, three injured and 15 under-trials managed to escape in the incident. Most of them are in judicial custody in Maoist related cases and police are investigating documents of the escaped accused in order to speed-up the investigation. The police will unearth the conspiracy as soon as possible and prisoners will be taken back to jail soon”, the DIG added.
The prisoners reportedly took advantage of the presence of crowds during the town’s Mangla Haat (Tuesday market) outside the jail and managed to escape.
The Chaibasa jail has a capacity of 321 prisoners. Currently around 980 prisoners — including over 100 accused Maoists of which 25 are allegedly hardcore Maoists— and over 30 women are housed there.