BHOPAL: Around 80 guards are “missing” At the Bhopal Central Jail, where SIMI managed a daring prison break last week before being gunned down hours later Or 8 members of the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India.
These guards are posted elsewhere, Instead of the jail – at the homes or offices of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, jail officials, former Jail Ministers, Jail Minister Kusum Mehdele, even the jail headquarters.
There are just 139 guards, For around 3,300 prisoners at one of the state’s most high security prisons.
Ms Mehdele, the minister in charge of jails said, “I think you are exaggerating.”
She said, “I don’t know about the rest but can’t be what you are saying…I have a driver and two people in my office.”
The math is worrying, given that eight prisoners were able to escape using tongue cleaners, steel utensils and bedsheets. There are 250 posts for guards at this jail on the outskirts of the Madhya Pradesh capital, of which 31 are vacant. Seventy are trainees.
They tied up one guard and slit the throat of another policeman using sharpened pieces of steel plates, dumping both in cells. The men used a dozen keys made from toothbrush handles to free themselves from their cells, Long after midnight on Diwali. Then they climbed two walls around 30 feet high with bedsheets strung together before running away.
Four armed guards posted at a parapet on the boundary of the cells were not in their positions. None of this was caught on camera as the CCTVs near the cells of the SIMI men were not working.
The group of eight had proceeded on foot towards a village around 10 km from the prison. Hours later, they were all killed in an encounter by the police. A guard at the gate saw four men cross the road and raised an alarm.
The Madhya Pradesh government has ordered an inquiry by a former judge into the jailbreak as well as the killings, Amid several questions raised by mobile videos of the encounter.