Silchar/Guwahati, Oct. 9: A lifer escaped from Silchar Central Jail yesterday afternoon, within 24 hours of an undertrial escaping from Guwahati Central Jail.
The Silchar jail authorities came to know about the escape of Asif Uddin, 33, during a routine headcount last evening, following which they informed the authorities and filed an FIR.
Sources in Silchar jail said Asif was last seen at the nearby residential quarters of the jail staff, where he had gone with two other inmates around 1.25pm to clean the rooms.
Jailor Ajay Kumar Bharali also said he had sent Asif to the quarters and added that the lifer had gone home on parole thrice but had never showed any kind of misdemeanour and had always returned on time. “So, we didn’t find any reason to disbelieve him. It’s quite common to send such prisoners out of jail premises for work. We don’t find any reason to doubt them because of the goodwill they have earned over time. Till now, we haven’t been able to figure out the reason for his sudden escape,” he said.
However, inspector-general (prisons) P.P. Barooah said according to preliminary inquiries, Bharali had allegedly sent Asif on a shopping assignment.
Be it the quarters or a shopping assignment, when the jail authorities started the regular headcount at 5pm, they couldn’t find Asif.
The lifer, who was convicted with his two brothers in a 2002 murder case, is a resident of Durganagar village in Cachar district, around 30km from Silchar.
Bharali and warden Nabadwip Sheel, who was on duty when the inmates reportedly reached the quarters, have been suspended.
Barooah said four staff of Guwahati Central Jail — assistant jailor Gautam Bora, head warden Suren Nath and two duty wardens, Khagen Das and Gulinur Ali — have also been placed under suspension with immediate effect for dereliction of duty. Undertrial Rajib Das, 19, had slipped out of that prison on Monday afternoon by hanging onto the undercarriage of a truck that had carried supplies to the jail.
“The order has been issued based on the inquiry conducted by jail superintendent Madhab Saikia,” he added.
Home department sources said Barooah would visit Silchar soon for an on-the-spot verification.
Assam jail minister Akon Bora admitted to lapses and promised tough action against the guilty. Not without reason, because this is the eighth escape from Assam jails this year and the second in less than 24 hours. The state has 31 jails and had 8,580 inmates till August.