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Six scale jail wall, one lies limp

Chinsurah, June 5: Six undertrials fled the Arambagh sub-jail last night, breaking doors of their ward and scaling a 20-foot wall.

But one of them could not go far. Anup Bhattacharya, who was in jail custody on charges of theft and dacoity, was found around 10 am with a broken leg and fractured arm .

Wardens detected the jailbreak around five in the morning and raised alarm. All four police stations of Arambagh subdivision in Hooghly and neighbouring Burdwan, Bankura and East Midnapore were alerted.

A hunt began for the missing six. Not long after, the man of around 35 was found from the bank of Dwarakeswar river at Kalipur, about 400 yards from the jail.

Residents of the area spotted Bhattacharya and took him to hospital, where he was handed over to the police. “We saw this man clad in a lungi on the bank of the river. We thought it was a dead body. When we went nearer, we found him alive. We asked his name but his replies were incoherent. Then we took him to the Arambagh Subdivisional Hospital. The hospital authorities informed the police,” said Gokul Layek, a resident of Kalipur.

Bhattacharya, the police said, could not take the pressure of a 20-foot fall. Sub-divisional officer Asraf Ali Mullick said a warden, Tej Narayan Misir, who was on duty at the time of the jailbreak has already been suspended.

A police force led by additional superintendent (rural) Chanchal Dutta was the first to arrive at the jail this morning. Inspector-general, prisons, Joydeb Chakraborty, and deputy inspector-general Anup Tripathi came later to conduct an inquiry.

Inspector-general of police, law and order, Chayan Mukherjee said the undertrials still missing are Pradip Sarkar of Ranaghat, Sheikh Feroz, Sheikh Rakesh, Zahiruddin Sheikh and Sheikh Zakir Rahman from Hooghly. All of them were facing trials for theft, robbery, snatching and other crimes.

Mukherjee said there were 31 prisoners in the ward from where they escaped. “We are surprised that the six prisoners broke two doors — one wooden and the other made of iron — and escaped while the rest of the prisoners appeared to know nothing. What were those 25 prisoners doing '” he asked.

Additional district magistrate Pradip Chatterjee said an inquiry has begun and the roles of the other inmates and the guards are being probed.

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