The prison doors are not locked as firmly any more. Ask Kashinath Mondol and he would say getting the key is a piece of cake. The undertrial walked out of Basirhat sub-divisional jail on June 30 by producing a forged release order from the chief judicial magistrate of Barasat court.
The fraud came to light on July 3 when the magistrate asked jail superintendent S.P. Kar to produce Mondal in court.
According to jail sources, Kashinath was arrested on January 25, 2003, on the charge of murdering his wife, and lodged in the sub-divisional jail since February 2. On June 30, the jail authorities received a copy of the order from the magistrate’s court, asking them to release Mondol. The prisoner was released on the same day.
On July 3, the magistrate sent a notice to the jail superintendent asking him to produce Mondol. The perplexed jail authorities informed the magistrate that Mondol had already been released on June 30 on the basis of his order.
The magistrate then asked the jail administration to produce the document on the basis of which Mondol was released. It was then found that the document contained a forged signature of the magistrate.
Jail sources said Mondol had connived with a section of prison warders to procure the forged release order from the magistrate’s court.
The state home department, which oversees the jail administration, sent deputy inspector-general of prisons Anup Tripathy to Basirhat on Saturday to probe how the authorities had released the prisoner without verifying the magistrate’s order. “This is a serious matter and has to be firmly dealt with. If jail officials are found to have connived with those forging the magistrate’s order, they will not be spared,” said Tripathy, who was informed of the incident by a deputy jailer from Basirhat on Friday.
Irked by the prison administration’s “callousness”, the magistrate has summoned jail superintendent S.P. Kar, who is also the sub-divisional officer of Basirhat, to court on July 17 for a hearing of the case. Kar said on Saturday that a deputy jailer had released Kashinath on the basis of “the magistrate’s order”. “An organised racket must have duped the jail administration,” he said.
Metro services hit
Metro services were affected intermittently through Saturday. A middle-aged man attempted suicide by throwing himself in front of a Tollygunge-bound train at Esplanade Metro station at 5.38 pm. He was saved as the train driver pulled the brakes just in time. The man was admitted to SSKM Hospital with serious injuries, Metro officials said. Five trains were cancelled and three trains were delayed as a result. Services were hit earlier in the afternoon as well after a PVC girder was found hanging from the wall on the Down line between Maidan and Rabindra Sadan stations. A pair of Up and Down trains was cancelled between 1.07 pm and 1.28 pm after power was blocked due to repairs.