ANGUL: Angul police was left red-faced after a hardcore criminal, accused in four murders, gave the cops a slip from the district court building here on Friday.An under-trial prisoner (UTP), Jhasketan Rout, escaped while he was being taken to court for appearance in connection with a murder case.While the incident exposed glaring lapses in handling of prisoners by the police during productions before the court, three policemen were placed under suspension later in the day for dereliction of duty.
More heads could roll.Rout, who was lodged in Angul jail, was escorted to the court by three constables in a police van. Before his appearance, he asked one of the constables for his mobile phone to make an urgent call to his relative. He remained on the phone for a few minutes and later, asked permission to go to the toilet.
On being allowed, the UTP went to the toilet with the phone. When he did not return after some time, the escort team went to the toilet only to find it empty. Rout had, by then, escaped from the skylight of the toilet, leaving the cops at their wit’s end.
However, Angul police failed to give any satisfactory answer why the escort party supplied a mobile phone to Rout, who attained notoriety for the cold-blooded murders he committed, during his court production.
The district police top brass also dodged questions about why no one was watching the toilet when Rout went in. Following the incident, a massive manhunt was launched to nab Rout but in vain. The undertrial continues to be on the run till reports last came in.
Angul SP Mitrabhanu Mahapatra said an enquiry has been ordered to ascertain how Rout managed to escape from the court premises. “If any cop is found guilty, stern action will be taken against him,” he added.
Rout, who hails from Kusakila village within Jarpara police limits, is facing trial for murdering four persons in 2016. He was arrested on the basis of an FIR lodged by one Rajkishore Sahu who alleged that two of his kin were missing. During investigation, police found that Rout had murdered the missing duo. Later, Rout confessed his crime and even showed the place where he buried their bodies.
Later, he was found to have murdered two women who had gone missing in Chhendipada area. Rout also admitted to have buried their bodies in a similar manner. He committed all these murders over money matters.