In a glaring security lapse, three undertrials escaped from the high-security central jail here in the wee hours of Tuesday after cutting the iron bars of a window and scaling two walls using a water pipe.
The three undertrials, Narain Singh, Budh Singh and Suraj Kumar, were lodged in the jail since 2011. While Narain was facing charges of theft in seven cases, the other two were being tried under the NDPS Act.
The jail authorities said the undertrials first cut the iron bars of a window near the bathroom of the barrack with a sharp-edged object and then arranged a long water pipe to climb a 10-ft-high wall. They used the same water pipe to scale the 20-ft-high boundary wall.
The jail staff came to know about the incident only after some inmates raised an alarm. Raids are on to nab the three undertrials.
While nine jail employees, including assistant superintendent Kulwant Singh, have been suspended for negligence, an FIR has been lodged against five of them, including Kulwant.
Various officers of the Amritsar police, led by deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Kaustabh Sharma, visited the high-security jail.
Denying the connivance of jail officials in the incident, deputy jail superintendent RJK Sharma said, "We are still trying to find out how they managed to lay their hands on the sharp-edged object used to cut the iron bars. We are conducting a detailed inquiry into the jailbreak to determine the lapses."
Amritsar police commissioner Ram Singh said that as soon as the jail authorities informed them about the incident, they constituted various police teams to nab the three undertrials. "Since investigations are still on, we cannot say if the lapse was intentional," he said.
August 2010: Pakistan national Niyamat Ali fled from the Amritsar central jail. He is yet to be traced.
December 2010: Afghan national Shahjahan escaped from a hospital outside the central jail.
CM orders inquiry
Chandigarh: Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has asked the DGP (jails) to ascertain the causes and circumstances leading to the jailbreak and suggest remedial measures to prevent such incidents, within a week. The DGP has entrusted the inquiry to the IG (jails).