Two undertrial prisoners, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus and were lodged inside a government hostel in Yerawada designated as a temporary prison, allegedly escaped in the early hours of Thursday. This is the fourth such incident at this temporary prison campus.
The state prison department and police said the two inmates tested positive and were kept in a separate building on the premises of the temporary prison, also a Covid care centre.
According to the authorities, the two prisoners managed to escape around 1 am on Thursday, following which a prison guards started a search; but the two could not be found nearby.
Police identified the two inmates as Anil Wetal, a resident of Koregaon Bhima arrested in a robbery case, and Vishal Kharat, a resident of Nigdi booked for attempt to murder. Both are in their 20’s.
Assistant Inspector Ajay Waghmare of Yerawada police station said, “Wetal had escaped from the same premises in an earlier incident but was caught later. The two managed to remove grills of the window, jump from the first floor room, and scale the compound wall. We have started a search.”
On July 16, five inmates escaped from the same facility by breaking the grill of a window but were caught later. On the night of July 12, a 21-year-old inmate in judicial custody in a robbery case also managed to flee. He was caught within 24 hours. Two inmates had escaped from the same premises in June but were arrested later.
On May 15, the state home department issued a notification giving powers to district collectors in the state to take provisional possession of government or privately owned buildings and designate them as temporary prisons, to be used for isolating sections of prisoners to control the spread of Covid-19 and admit new inmates. To date, 36 temporary prisons have been set up in 27 districts with 3,000 inmates lodged in them.
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