Two undertrial prisoners, who had tested positive for coronavirus and were lodged in a government hostel in Pune designated as a temporary prison, escaped in the early hours of Thursday. This is the fourth such incident in which inmates have fled from the temporary prison.
Prison department and local police officials said that the two inmates, who were kept in an isolation section, managed to flee at around 1 am on Thursday. Officials said one of the two had tried to escape on an earlier occasion but was caught later. The two are said to have bent the window grills and scale the compound wall.
A police search is underway.
Details on the charges against the duo and nature of their incarceration were awaited.
On July 16, five inmates had escaped from the same facility by breaking the grill of the window but were caught separately later. On the night of July 12, a 21-year-old inmate in judicial custody in a case of robbery had managed to flee. He was caught within 24 hours of his escape. In a similar manner, two inmates had escaped from the same premises around in June. They were arrested later.
On May 15, the Maharashtra Home Department had 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 which can be used for isolating sections of prisoners to avert spread of infections during the Covid pandemic and also to admit new inmates — either convicts or undertrials.
Till now, 36 temporary prisons have been designated in 27 of the districts in the state which are currently housing around 3,000 inmates.
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