Manjunath, a 3o-year old murder convict serving a life term, escaped from the central prison posing as a visitor to the facility at Parappana Agrahara in Bangalore on Friday evening. He hails from Gulayanahatti in Karnataka’s Chitrdurga district.
“He has spent close to seven-years in prison which might have made him familiar with the protocols of the prison department that gave him confidence to casually deal with police personnel posted at gates for duty.
According to the officials, the escaped inmate somehow managed to procure the seal — which the the prison guards apply on the visitors at the Central Prison on arrival. Later, he dodged the inspecting staff by displaying the seal, and exited out of the prison facility.
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During the official roll call on Friday evening at 5 pm, Manjunath was found missing, and the prison officials sounded an alert. The officials, on checking the CCTV footage, spotted the inmate leaving the premises among the visitors, an official said.
“The moment we found Manjunath missing during the roll-call on Friday evening we launched a manhunt which lasted overnight and continues as we speak. We are sure he has not reached quite far and we will nab him soon,” the senior official added. Central Prison authorities are coordinating with the Bengaluru police to hunt the suspect. The police have also informed the Chitradurga rural police to lookout for Manjunath as they believe he may try to contact his home.
Officials investigating the matter said they have launched a manhunt to trace the convict. However, they are yet to ascertain if the convict was abetted by an insider among the staff to procure plain clothes or by any other means.
Officials say that there is no lapse their part and said, “We have examined the CCTV footage – Manjunath was challenged at-least three-times at different gates by our officials, and one of our constables Pundalika asked him to leave, to which Manjunath pretended to go back to the cell.
But as the constable went out of sight Manjunath in plain-clothes loitered four-minutes around the main gate and told authorities that he had come for ‘parole extension’ and even showed a visitor seal stamped on his hand as a proof. Since new admission was going on, officials were busy frisking new entrants and their belongings, and believed in the convincing version of the inmate and let him go.”
“It was nothing but miscommunication between the duty officials and a stroke of luck that played in Manjunath’s favour to escape,” senior police official added.
It was only in September 2013, that proclaimed rape accused Jaishankar had escaped from the hospital facility at Parappana Agrahara scaling the wall, but his daredevilry was short-lived, and he was captured by the authorities a few days later.
Kamal Pant, Additional Director General of Police (prison) says that enquiry to the Friday’s incident has already begun, on preliminary finding it seems that casual approach by the prison guards and lack of due dilligence in cross-verifying the claims of Manjunath’s lead to his escape.
“When the inmate said that he was on parole extention, they must have asked for his papers or counter-checked with seniors that did not happen. Preliminary enquiry is over, the staff found of wrong doing or negligence will be punished,” ADGP added.