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Bosses probe Siliguri jailbreak

Siliguri, Dec. 27: Jail minister Biswanath Choudhury today said he has ordered an inquiry into the escape of four inmates from Siliguri Special Correctional Home early yesterday morning even as senior officials of his department arrived here today to investigate the case.

The four undertrials had fled though a bathroom window after cutting an iron rod with a hacksaw. Questions have arisen on how they got hold of a hacksaw in prison, putting under the scanner the role of the security staff.

“I have sought reports from the additional deputy inspector-general of jails and the deputy inspector-general of jails about the prisoners escaping,” Choudhury told The Telegraph over the phone from Calcutta today. “They will conduct a thorough inquiry and submit the reports shortly.”

The minister also said the jail officials have been asked to act promptly so that action can be taken against those responsible for the jailbreak. “Once the reports reach us, we will work on the punitive steps to be taken against those found responsible during the course of the investigation,” he said.

On the minister’s instructions, additional IG (north Bengal) Kamal Mukherjee and DIG (north Bengal) Bimalendu Mukherjee reached the jail separately.

“They visited the premises, heard in detail from the superintendent how the quartet escaped and also talked to the guards and other staff posted at the jail and recorded their statements,” a jail source said. “We have, however, not heard of any steps like showcause notice or suspension order to any staff for dereliction of duty.”

Mukherjee, who reached the jail this afternoon, refused to speak in detail. “I have just arrived and initiated an inquiry. I am yet to learn the details,” he said.

Police and jail officials however, are still clueless about the prisoners. The Siliguri police, following a complaint lodged by the jail authorities, have started investigations and all police stations across Darjeeling district have been alerted. Among the four, two are from Jalpaiguri, one from Nepal and the fourth from North Dinajpur district.

“We have alerted the police stations along the international border (with Nepal). No developments, however, have been reported till now,” said Gaurav Sharma, the additional superintendent of police of Siliguri.

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