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Jailhouse suicide in jailbreak trail

Calcutta, Sept. 27: A 40-year-old undertrial committed suicide this afternoon in his cell in Presidency Jail in Alipore, swinging the glare firmly back on security lapses in Calcutta’s prisons.

Two warders, supposed to be on duty at the cell, were absent, said sources in the jail.

On Thursday, five criminals, including extortionist Sheikh Binod and Baitha Kima, a Myanmarese national held during the city’s biggest drug bust, escaped from Dum Dum Central Jail using a ladder left behind by former inmate-turned-contractor Chaitanya Pal.

The government today suspended Dum Dum jail superintendent M.M. Choudhury.

Inspector-general of prisons Joydeb Chakraborty rushed to Presidency Jail on hearing that one Bapi Aditya had committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell. The undertrial was lodged in the jail a year ago on charges of murdering his wife.

“Aditya looked depressed ever since one of his sons decided to become a witness to the murder. Unable to bear the humiliation, he must have ended his life,” said a senior jail official. He added the warders who had gone missing were being questioned.

Chakraborty apparently pulled up jail superintendent S.R. Hussain for the lapse and asked him to deal firmly with warders playing truant.

The government today also slapped showcause notices on the jailer and the head warden of the Dum Dum jail for dereliction of duty. The jail department had suspended three employees following the jailbreak.

Sachi Dulal Chakraborty, principal of the warders’ training institute, has taken over as the superintendent.

The government decided to shift the jailbreak case to the Criminal Investigation Department of West Bengal police from the Barasat police on the home department’s recommendation.

Jail minister Biswanath Chowdhury announced the decisions this afternoon after a meeting with senior officers. “All I can say is that the jailbreak is the outcome of the callousness of the staff. The jail superintendent cannot evade responsibility for the incident,” Chowdhury said.

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