Prison-breaks not a new phenomena

Around a week ago, a prisoner from the Cherlapally Central Prison escaped from Gandhi Hospital while undergoing treatment.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

HYDERABAD: Around a week ago, a prisoner from the Cherlapally Central Prison escaped from Gandhi Hospital while undergoing treatment. The inmate, it is learnt, cut iron grills in his hospital room with a razor blade. He then slid down the water pipe and escaped. 

While the news surprised many, this isn’t the first such daring escape by a prison inmate. In the past, several prisoners have successfully evaded their captors, highlighting the negligence of prison officials in the State. 

In the recent case, as has been commonly seen till now, the inmate successfully managed to dodge armed police personnel who generally assist civil policemen during prisoner transit. Here, an armed policeman was indeed on duty. Later, all staff on duty were asked to give a detailed explanation on why this happened. 

Speaking to Express, an official said, “The inmate’s wife gave him the blade that he later used to cut rods in the grill. Even while he was cutting these rods, security personnel on duty did not take notice.” Just six months ago, a prisoner jumped off a moving bus while being transported from Cherlapally Central Prison to Mahbubnagar. In 2016, two other prisoners escaped from the highly secure Warangal Central Prison.

They reportedly used stones to break the lock of the room they were confined in.

A Narasimha, Inspector General of State Prisons and Correctional Service, said, “Most prisoners escape captivity when they are outside the actual prison itself, such as during transit. An escape is usually because of the negligence of police personnel on duty. They need to be vigilant and pay attention to the prisoner.” It may be noted that prison inmates are usually transported between prisons and courts for trials and prosecution. He added: “Inmates rarely break out of a prison. In the Warangal incident, we took action by suspending seven people.”

A look at the last published data National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), of 2016, highlights that there were 28 instances wherein “prisoners escaped from police custody”. In all the incidents, the prisoners escaped “outside the lockup.” Around 21 persons were “charge sheeted for the offence of escape”.

“In many cases, handcuffs are not locked properly. In others, the armed forces do not pay attention to the prisoner in custody,” said an officials. 

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