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3 prisoners escape from Amritsar Central Jail, 7 officials suspended

3 prisoners escape from Amritsar Central Jail, 7 officials suspended

Amritsar/Chandigarh: Three prisoners escaped from the high-security Amritsar Central Jail by scaling the boundary walls, prompting Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to order a review and revamp of prison security across the state. Following the incident, seven officials-- two assistant jail superintendents, four wardens and a home guard sepoy--posted in the jail were placed under suspension with immediate effect, ADGP (Jails) P K Sinha said in Amritsar.

The action against the prison officials came after the chief minister directed Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa to immediately suspend, pending inquiry, all those responsible for the prison security.

The three undertrials--one accused of rape and the other two (both brothers) of theft and dacoity--escaped on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday by making a hole in the wall of their barrack by removing about 10 bricks, officials said.

"They then appear to have scaled the inner wall--which is about 16-foot high-- by standing one atop the other. While the outer wall--approx 21 feet--was crossed by them using a hook made of a steel bar and the cover of a quilt to make a ladder.

"They finally escaped the jail complex from a point near Tower No. 10, which was not under the CCTV cover," DGP Dinkar Gupta said in an official statement in Chandigarh.

The DGP said there was no evidence of any outside help, according to preliminary investigations, which suggests that the trio, among 61 prisoners in Barrack No. 7, Ahata No. 2, had planned their escape on their own.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry, which will be led by the Divisional Commissioner, Jalandhar.

ADGP (Jails) P K Sinha said, "The security of the jail was being reviewed at the micro level. Gross negligence in the security system was also found."

He said the Amritsar Central Jail has around 3,200 inmates against the capacity of 2,700.

Earlier, the chief minister had asked the ADGP (Jails) to review and further strengthen prison security not just in this jail but in prisons across the state, officials said.

A statewide hunt has been launched for the prisoners, they said.

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