The Madhya Pradesh Jail department on Tuesday issued orders empowering guards to fire to foil jailbreaks and weapons snatching attempts. The orders were issued after two under-trials escaped from Morena district jail on Monday even as the government had claimed that jail security had been stepped up following the alleged escape of SIMI activists from a Bhopal prison in October.
“The jail guards are usually scared to fire during emergencies because there are no orders and no seniors to sanction it. The written orders will make them feel confident,’’ Additional Director General (Jail) G R Meena told The Indian Express.
The order applies in cases of breaking of gates, windows and snatching of keys as well. On Monday, two inmates — loot and murder accused Omprakash Jat and kidnapping and rape accused Anil Rathod — dug a hole in a wall to escape before routine headcount.
Six officials were suspended while a magisterial inquiry was ordered into the escape. “Prima facie, it appears to be carelessness on the part of jailor Vijay Maurya, deputy jailor Basudev Manjhi, chief warder Dataram and three warders… and therefore, they have been suspended,” said Meena on Tuesday.
Authorities have sanctioned Rs 10 lakh to increase the height of Morena jail wall and for repairs. Rs 10,000 each has been announced for information leading to the duo’s arrest.