A man serving life term for murdering his wife escaped from the Yerawada open jail on Sunday afternoon. Jail officials came to know about the escape of the 36-year-old convict after the routine head count at 6 pm.
They suspect that the convict,Saleem Gulab Pathan,escaped between 1.45 pm and 6 pm,when headcount is regularly taken. In 2002,a Pandharpur court had sentenced Pathan to life imprisonment for murdering his wife.
Pathan,who is from Ratnagiri village of Panhala tehsil in Kolhapur district,had served served about seven years in Kolapur jail and had been brought to the Yerawada open jail in July 2010.
As per a complaint registered with Yerawada police station by Maruti Watmare,a prison guard,Pathan was present among the 133 inmates for the 1.45 pm headcount.
But for the roll call at 6 pm,one person was found missing. A further search revealed that it was Pathan. Jail authorities registered the complaint and informed all authorities concerned.
Ramesh Kamble,Yerawada open jail superintendent,said,Pathan was brought here in July 2010 from Kolhapur jail and had been working in the farming section of the open jail. Another convict who escaped from open jail premises earlier (Ravindra Salvi alias Robert,serving two-year-term for abatement of suicide) did not actually belong to the open jail. He was an inmate at Yerawada main jail. Some of their inmates sentenced to less than two years are also made to work in the open jail based on good behaviour. Pathans case is the first case of an escape from open jail in the recent past and an aberration.
Prisoners are allowed to work in the open jail based on their good behaviour. Kamble said,His behaviour was normally good,his sister used to come and meet him. He had had also gone home on parole.
Sources said for about 140 inmates on roll at the open jail there are just 20 guards on both shifts.
Kamble,however,said,For example a group is working at Empress Garden and a guard is deputed with them for vigilance. One cannot say guards are insufficient in number.