The Jharkhand Police now suspect involvement of a guard in the Chaibasa jailbreak by the Maoists after it was found that CCTV cameras, mobile jammers and sirens at the prison were not working when the incident took place.
Senior officers are not convinced with the version of jail guards that the prisoners threw chilli powder on them Tuesday evening while trying to escape from the prison. Two senior CPI(Maoist) members were killed and three injured during the incident. None of the 15 inmates who escaped have been caught, with police officials apprehending that they might not be arrested again.
Sentries deployed on the rooftop of the district jail had opened fire when 20 prisoners attempted to flee at around 4.15 pm. They were part of a group of 55 inmates who had just returned from the district court after hearings.
West Singhbhum SP Narendra Kumar Singh said Mochirai Munda, an ex-serviceman employed as jail guard on a contractual basis, has been named in the FIR. “He has been named along with those who escaped as he was responsible for opening both the gates. He should have closed the main gate before opening the second. We will interrogate him to find out if it was intentional,” said the official. A magisterial probe into the incident has also been announced.
The jail van, with 55 undertrials inside, reversed into the premises through the main gate. Munda, who held the keys to the main as well as a smaller entrance through which prisoners had to go on foot, left the main gate wide-open.
Thirty five prisoners had passed through the second gate when Ramvilas Tanti and Tipa Das, both platoon commanders and the seniormost among the rest 20, tried to snatch weapons from the guards.