Poor security arrangements in and around the juvenile home (bal sudhar ghar) being run by the social security department at Ram Colony Camp were exposed once again as five inmates escaped from custody on Monday morning.
Till the time of filing this report, there was no clue of the escapees who were all adults and involved in heinous crimes.
The detainees made a hole in the wall of an abandoned bathroom to find a way out. When students of an adjoining school saw the boys running towards the boundary wall around 8.30 am, they informed their teachers who alerted the sudhar ghar authorities.
On head count , five inmates -- Manpreet Singh of local police lines, Vipan Kumar of Jalandhar, Sanjay Kumar of Phagwara, Navjit Singh of Bahad, Bulhowal, and Mandeep Singh of Ravidas Nagar here were found missing.
CCTV cameras installed near the front gates provided little help as all the action took place inside the building. Four security guards and a caretaker were present at the time of the incident.
Superintendent Naresh Kumar said all escapees were above 18. He said Vipan had a murder case pending against him, Navjit was facing trial in an attempt to murder case, Sanjay was involved in an NDPS case, Sarbjit in a dacoity case and Mandeep in a theft case.
He said of the total 105 inmates currently lodged in the juvenile home, 15 were adults. “We have written to the authorities concerned to shift them to regular jails,” he claimed.
In 2010 too, six inmates had escaped from the home by breaking the loose iron grills of the storeroom, two of whom are untraced till date. Similar incidents have occurred on earlier occasions also.
Deputy superintendent of police (city) Digvijay Kapil, who visited the site, said the offenders seemed to have used a sharp iron device to make a hole in the wall. “They had drilled around 2x1.5 feet opening in the wall but we did not recover any appliance from the site,” said the DSP. He said a case was being registered against the escapees.
Deputy commissioner Amit Dhaka was not available to confirm if he had marked a judicial inquiry, which is the norm in jail break cases.