Three flee Malda lock-up - Undertrials use toilet window as escape hatch

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 11.11.13
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Malda, Nov. 10: Three undertrials escaped from the Englishbazar police lock-up last night by bending iron rods of a toilet window while the policemen were busy during the change of shift.

Although four close-circuit cameras are installed in the police station that has the lock-up, the footage could not be seen as the only monitor to play it is in the inspector-in-charge’s room that was locked yesterday as the officer was on leave. This is the second time that prisoners have escaped from the Englishbazar lock up this year.

Police said undertrials Byomkesh Karmakar, 19, Lobh Mondol, 21, and Sabirul Shiekh, 21, were arrested from Rathbari area near here on November 8 for their alleged involvement in a fake currency racket.

They were produced in the court of the chief judicial magistrate the same day and remanded in police custody for three days, sources said.

Sources said that on Saturday night, when the policemen were busy discussing duties for a new shift around 10pm, the undertrials escaped by bending the iron rods of a window in the toilet. If they used any implements to bend the rods is not clear. “There were five prisoners in the cell when the incident happened. The other two prisoners were interrogated. They told the police that the trio forced open the iron bars of the toilet window and escaped. They had entered the toilet that has a door that cannot be latched. When the three did not return to the lock-up for a long time, the two prisoners went to the toilet to check. They saw no one there and raised the alarm,” a source at the police station said.

There are two lock-ups at the single-storeyed Englishbazar police station that dates back to the British period.

The officers and the district police chief were informed immediately and an alert was sounded across the district.

Sources said after climbing out of the toilet window, the three might have scaled the wall of the compound and escaped. The main gate of the police station was manned by a sentry. Policemen guard the lock-ups in three shifts — 10pm-8am, 8am to 2pm and 2pm to 10pm.

Sources said the incident took place between 10pm and 11pm, when the 10pm to 8am shift had just begun. On July 27, an undertrial, also arrested in connection with a fake notes racket, fled the lock-up. “After the July incident, four close-circuit cameras were installed in the police station, including one inside the lock-ups. But last night the footage was not being scanned as the monitor is in the inspector-in-charge’s room, which was locked. We are looking at last night’s tapes,” the source said.

Inspector-in-charge Dilip Karmakar was on leave yesterday.

Malda police chief Kalyan Mukherjee has ordered a probe into the incident.

“Three prisoners have escaped from the lock-up of the Englishbazar police station by bending the iron bars of the toilet window. We have started an investigation to find out how they could escape by hoodwinking the officers and constables on duty. We are interrogating all policemen present at the lock-up at that time,” he said.

Additional sub-inspector Ansarul Haq and sentry, Mukul Barman, have been closed.

“We have taken off duty a sentry and an assistant sub-inspector and launched a combing operation across the district to locate the three,” Mukherjee said.

The trio who fled the lock up was supposed to be produced in court again on Monday.

This morning around 9am, deputy police superintendent, Nirmal Singh Deb, arrived at the police station.

When asked about the incident, Singh Deb said: “Three undertrials escaped on Saturday. That is all I can say.”