Five undertrial prisoners, including those facing charges of murder and rape, escaped from a sub-jail in Karjat taluka of Ahmednagar district on Sunday evening by breaching a barrack’s ceiling.
Police said the sub-jail located near the Karjat police station and the block office of Karjat taluka houses prisoners both in police and magisterial custody.
The prison, categorised as a sub-jail, is administered by the revenue department and the security is provided by the police.
The police said around 7.30 pm on Sunday, the five undertrials fled by breaching the ceiling of the barrack made of earthen tiles.
“The prisoners removed the wooden planks supporting the ceiling and then removed the tiles. The only way they could have escaped through the ceiling is by climbing on each other and forming a pyramid,” a police officer said.
Milind Bharambe, Inspector General (Law and Order), Maharashtra, said, “An inquiry has been launched into the incident by the Inspector General of the range and Superintendent of Police of the district. Meanwhile, a search has been launched for the prisoners.”
When asked whether adequate security was in place at the jail at the time of the incident, Bharambe said, “That will be probed as part of the inquiry.”
Those who fled have been identified as Dnyaneshwar Kolhe, who is a historysheeter charged with illegal sale of firearms; Akhay Raut, Mohan Bhore and Chandrakant Raut, all facing charges of murder; and Gangadhar Jagtap, arrested for rape.
A police officer who did not wish to be named said, “As per primary information, there was one police personnel present to guard the cell from where the five escaped. For the overall security of the prison, not more than six to seven police guards were deployed. At the time of the incident as many as 28 prisoners were inside the building, which is a very old structure with earthen tiles fitted to the ceiling.”
Maharashtra has more than 150 sub-jails, mostly located at taluka headquarters.
At present, a proposal is in the pipeline to hand over these sub-jails to the state Prison department for administration and security in line with high-security central prisons and districts jails.
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