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Friday, February 28, 2020

Punjab Jails Minister on Amritsar jailbreak: Weak wall helped inmates escape

After the incident on February 2, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had ordered a magisterial inquiry by Commissioner, Jalandhar, into the escape.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh | Published: February 13, 2020 8:57:40 am
Punjab Jails Minister on Amritsar jailbreak: Weak wall helped inmates escape Punjab Jail Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa. (Express Photo/File)

Poor quality of construction material helped the prisoners escape from the Amritsar Central Jail, a preliminary inquiry into the jailbreak said. Three prisoners had escaped from the jail on February 2.

Punjab Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said: “The wall from where the break-in took place is of such sub-standard quality that even if somebody pushes the wall with a little pressure it would give way. It requires only 10-15 people to break the wall by just pushing it. The cement used in the construction appears to be of poor quality or the quantity used is very less. Otherwise, how can anyone just dig a hole in the wall of a barrack by removing bricks?”

Randhawa said he has already sent a team of officials from the Jail Department to examine the spot. “We are picking samples and the construction material would be checked for its quality,” he said, pointing out that the jail was constructed during SAD-BJP regime. The minister said that he would also get construction quality at other jails checked. “I have asked the department to see if other jails also have poor quality material used. The officials will also go to Muktsar and Faridkot because those two jails were also constructed during SAD-BJP government,” he said.

After the incident on February 2, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had ordered a magisterial inquiry by Commissioner, Jalandhar, into the escape. Randhawa had suspended seven security officials for the escape that had caused embarrassment to the government.

Punjab Jails Minister on Amritsar jailbreak: Weak wall helped inmates escape Central Jail Amritsar. (Express Photo/File)

The undertrial prisoners had broken their barrack wall and escaped by scaling the inner and outer walls of the jail. The incident had taken place at midnight. The footage of the escape was recorded in the CCTV cameras of the prison.

The CM had ordered review of security not just in this jail but in the others across the state.

DGP Dinkar Gupta had said that prisoners dug a hole in the wall of their barrack by removing about 10 bricks. They then appeared to have scaled the inner wall (about 16-ft high) by standing one atop the other, while the outer wall (21-ft) was crossed by them using a hook made of a steel bar and a quilt cover as rope. They finally escaped the jail complex from a point near tower no.10, which was not under CCTV radar.

The prisoners were identified as Vishal, Gurpreet and Sukhdev Singh.

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