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In a major breakthrough, all three undertrials who escaped from Modern Central Jail in Kanda (Shimla) were arrested by Himachal police on Friday. Director General of Police Somesh Goyal, who is also the DGP (prisons), confirmed the arrest of all three undertrials. While two are facing rape charges, one is a murder accused. All three are Nepali nationals.
The escaped prisoners were first spotted by some locals in the Kunihar and adjoining forest areas, who immediately alerted the police regarding their movements. The police teams rushed to the areas and showed photographs of the escaped prisoners to the informers who identified them.
Thereafter Soumya Sambasivan herself reached the area and led the search teams in the forests to trace their movements. It all began with the arrest of Prem Bahadur, rape accused, from Sayari forest area of Kunihar in Solan district. He provided some clues about other two.
Thereafter, the police teams zeroed in on all adjoining forests and succeeded in nabbing them. Both of them were found near a temple at Radiyana forest areas close to Sabathu.
Police said the escaped prisoners were hungry and had also injured themselves by jumping from the 16-feet high wall of the Kanda jail. They were also penniless and apparently had no local contacts to help them in boarding bus to escape to Nepal.
Bahadur, 22, along with Leela Dhar, 22, and Pratap Singh, 27, had escaped from the jail on December 6—just a day before state police’s ‘Raising Day function’. All three had together planned the jailbreak.
According to jail staff, the prisoners scaled the jail’s 16-ft outer wall taking support of some construction material, which included some pipes and iron bars lying in the compound.
All three prisoners, residing among 15 others in Barrack No 4, answered their last roll call at 10 pm on Tuesday night. Between 4 and 4.30 am, with the help of a steel blade, the prisoners cut the iron bars of the inner gates of the prison. After reaching the prison’s outer wall, they used the support of construction material, including pipes and iron bars found lying around, to scale the 16 foot wall and escape. It was later found that the escapees had left their footwear inside the jail compound.
While a three-layer security is mandatory in the prison at night, it was found that only two guards were on duty that night. They have been suspended, and an inquiry is underway. DGP Somesh Goyal, who is also DG (Prisons), later admitted that the incident occurred due to sheer negligence of the guards.