A man who was in judicial custody in connection with multiple offences of theft allegedly tried to escape from a Covid care centre in Rajkot early on Saturday but died hours later allegedly due to injuries sustained after falling from the fourth floor of the building. Police said it was his second attempt to escape in less that two weeks after he tested positive for Covid-19.
According ot ‘A’ Division police in Rajkot city, Anandgiri Goswami (50) tried to escape from the ranbashera (night shelter) of Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) in Mochi Bazaar area at around 2 am on Saturday by breaking the iron grill in the toilet and trying to climb down from the fourth floor of the building using a blanket and bed sheet.
“However, the blanket and bedsheet tied together was too short to reach the ground… and we noticed him trying to escape… When we asked him to climb back, he jumped to the ground, sustaining injuries…,” said head constable Kalamiya Saiyad, who was standing guard at the special covid care centre for prisoners, in his complaint. Saiyad said that there were three other prisoners on the fourth floor of the facility, recovering from Covid-19.
“He was rushed to civil hospital in Rajkot for treatment. However, he succumbed to his injuries at round 6 am on Saturday,” said Chintan Joshi, inspector ‘A’ Division police. He said a case of accidental death was registered at ‘A’ Division police station. Based on Saiyad’s complaint, the under-trial prisoner was booked under IPC Section 224 and 511 (attempt to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment).
Goswami was shifted from Gondal sub-jail in Rajkot district to PDU Hospital, popularly known as Rajkot civil hospital, after he tested positive for Covid-19 on July 31. He escaped from the hospital on August 3. However, Gondal town police arrested him the following day from Moti Bazaar area of Gondal town and admitted him to the Covid-19 hospital. After his health improved, he was shifted to the Covid care centre in Mochi Bazaar on August 10.
Goswami was arrested in February this year in a theft case and was lodged in Gondal sub-jail since February 10. “Later, police of Rajkot city, Junagadh and Chotila arrested him from Gondal sub-jail on transfer warrant for alleged thefts that he had committed in their jurisdiction. He was facing 16 cases of theft,” Dhirubhai Parmar, incharge superintendent of Gondal sub-jail, said on Sunday.
Parmar said that Goswami was a resident of Vora-Kotda Road in Gondal town. “Earlier he escaped from custody in 2018 while he was being taken to Rajkot civil hospital for treatment. However, he would resurface in his area within hours,” the superintendent said, adding Goswami was married and that his family lived near the Gondal sub-jail.
After he escaped from the Covid-19 hospital on August 3, Goswami was booked under IPC sections 224 270, 271 and 188.