Drunk on escort duty,5 policemen suspended

Sylvester’s escape * Top cops say the escort team gave wrong info in FIR.

Written by Express News Service | Vadodara/ahmedabad | Published:October 10, 2011 12:48 am

Gujarat Police on Sunday suspended four officials and a driver in connection with the escape of Sylvester Daniel — a close aide of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tusli Prajapati — saying it was a “shameful incident where our men could not even stand on their feet as they were drunk”.

“To set an example for others in our staff,we decided to suspend them with an immediate effect,” said Vadodara Police Commissioner Satish Sharma at a press briefing.

He added that the five — sub-inspector M Guhil,head constable Ambalal,constables Vijay Babu and Ranchod Bhai,and driver Gopal Singh who were escorting Sylvester from Udaipur to the Vadoadra jail after a court hearing — had given wrong information in the FIR registered in Udaipur.

Sharma said,“The escorting policemen gave false information to the Rajasthan Police saying they had removed Sylvester’s handcuffs as he wanted to attend to nature’s call. This clearly shows their connivance with the accused. And even if we believe this theory,they were not in a position to chase Sylvester as they were drunk.” He added,“Sylvester’s arrest has also put an end to the speculations about the role of Gujarat Police. Whatever happened was clearly due to negligence and there was nothing more to that. However,we would be investigating the case to know how they allowed him to escape.”

DCP Crime (Vadodara) Ashok Kumar Yadav will conduct a departmental inquiry against the cops in question,who are currently being questioned by Rajasthan Police.

In another briefing by DGP Chitranjan Singh in Gandhinagar,he said,“They have been charged with negligence and conspiracy… The police officers kept eating and drinking at an eatery. They allowed Sylvester to go and meet his family,which is a serious negligence.” Singh said that with the FIR being lodged at 1 am on Saturday,the action of escort team raised suspicion. “They later floated a story that he escaped from their custody. They searched for him but when they couldn’t find him,they filed an FIR. The Udaipur police have taken statements of the restaurant owner.”

According to Gujarat Police,after escaping,Sylvester went to his aunt’s place at Bhopalpura in Udaipur,took a vehicle,reached Ajmer,collected a weapon and was returning to Udaipur when he was arrested. Singh said Sylvester could have escaped to join his aides in Udaipur.

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