2 prisoners dig tunnel to escape Tihar jail

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New Delhi – Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday ordered a magisterial inquiry into the escape of two prisoners from Tihar jail while the central government sought a report from jail officials on the incident.

Jail authorities too initiated an internal probe into the escape of undertrials Faizan, 19, and Javed alias Rinku, 18, from the high-security jail No.7 on June 27 evening.

There were different accounts of what exactly happened.

The Lt. Governor ordered District Magistrate (south west) Ankur Garg to conduct an inquiry into “wall break, digging of tunnel and escape of prisoners” from the jail while Tihar Jail Deputy Inspector General Mukesh Prasad said  that the prisoners did not dig any tunnel or break any wall.

“The two accused somehow escaped by scaling the jail wall after stepping on a pile of debris dumped by PWD workers while constructing a road here,” Prasad said.

According to Prasad, an initial probe by jail authorities revealed that the two inmates fled from barrack No.5 in Block 1 of Ward no.4 inside jail No.7 on June 27 evening.

“The duo first went to jail No.8. It seems the two climbed the debris piled up near the wall of jail No.8, after which one of them got on to the others’ shoulder and reached the top of the wall. He then pulled the other one with the help of a towel,” Prasad said.

The Tihar DIG said that after jumping over the wall, the two jumped into a canal near jail No.7. While Javed swam across and scaled another wall to make good his escape, Faizan was caught near the canal.

Prasad said that the duo was present during the morning headcount on June 27, but the two were found missing during the evening roll call.

“An alarm was raised after they were found missing. Every ward and barrack was checked. Meanwhile, our team caught Faizan while he was trying to cross the canal,” he said.

Prasad said both the inmates were facing trial for robbery, theft, attempt to dacoity and others.

“They were among 21 Muslim youths kept in a special ‘roza’ ward in Barrack No.5 so that they could offer prayers during Ramadan,” he said.

The DIG said jail authorities initiated an internal inquiry under the supervision of superintendent of jail No.3, M.K. Dwivedi.

Meanwhile, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) has sought a report into the incident.

Jung said the magistrial inquiry, to be completed within a week, would look into the factors and circumstances leading to the escape of two inmates, review comprehensively the security set-up of Delhi prisons, fix responsibility for the lapses that led to the escape and suggest remedial measures for the prison administration to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Prasad said Faizan of Deoli in south Delhi was lodged in the jail on June 24, while Javed of Madanpur Khadar, also in south Delhi, was brought in earlier on June 2.

“Faizan was lodged here for the first time in November 2014 on a theft charge but was bailed out in December last. However, Javed was lodged here more than two times in the past,” the DIG said.

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