Hours before Syed Sarifuddin Khan was lynched on March 5 last, the mob that dragged him out of Dimapur central jail helped three prisoners escape. One of the prisoners was caught but two others managed to flee.
A report by suspended jail superintendent B Chuba Phom has confirmed this besides blaming the Nagaland government for reacting late in providing reinforcements to thwart the mob.
The two insurgents were being held under the stringent National Security Act, the report said. Both the prisoners belonged to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muviah), a major Naga militant outfit currently under ceasefire with the government.
The report also highlighted a picture of the mob's meticulous search for the rape-accused, saying his pictures were circulated on mobile phones when he was not found in an initial sweep. Once he was found, he was stripped, dragged out of the jail and beaten to death.
"In the later part of the evening, since no reinforcement of the security personnel came to restrain the frenzy agitators (sic) and provide security to the Jail, the agitators had ample opportunity to frisk the entire premises and locate the main accused," the report filed by Dimapur Central Jail's Senior Superintendent B Chuba Phom said.
"Then they (the mob) started breaking the locks of prisoners' wards and vandalised the barracks and jail properties. Some agitators were also heard encouraging other prisoners to escape," the report stated.
The jailor's report, filed the day after the incident, says that officials of the district administration, police and state government had been informed as early as 11:30 am that the mob outside the jail intended to storm the prison to drag out Khan, accused of raping a Naga woman.