Meghalaya government probes into Jowai jailbreak

Photo: Hindustan Times

Shillong: The Meghalaya government today instituted a magisterial inquiry and an independent inquiry into the sensational Jowai jailbreak. 

Tabling a suo motu statement in the Assembly, Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said, “The District Magistrate has directed PK Boro, Additional District Magistrate, West Jaintia Hills to conduct a magisterial inquiry into the matter of jailbreak.”

He informed that the Additional Superintendent of Police, West Jaintia Hills district has been entrusted with the conduct of independent inquiry into the reasons & circumstances leading to the escape. 

MA Challam, Additional District Magistrate has also been deputed to conduct an inquest on the four dead bodies of the escaped prisoners. 

The decision came a day after four of the six prisoners were killed by a mob of angry villagers in a forest area near Shangpung village in West Jaintia Hills district. 

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On Sunday, a mob of around 5,000 plus villagers from different unknown villages made a hot pursuit of four noted escaped prisoners and converged into a forest area away from Shangpung village, West Jaintia Hills. 

Rymbui said that, on receiving information, the police team proceeded to the place of occurrence but was vehemently prevented by an unruly mob. 

“Police team tried to negotiate and confront the mob to proceed to the place of occurrence to prevent an attack of the four escapees. However, after many confrontations with the mob to the effect that many policemen got injured.

The police team managed to retrieve and remove 4 unconscious escapees from the place of occurrence to civil hospital with permission from the magistrate on duty,” he said. 

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“However, on reaching the hospital, it was declared by the medical officer that all four of them were brought dead,” he added. 

The four deceased are I Love You Talang of Moorap village, Lodestar Tang of Mootyrshiah village, Shidorki Dkhar of Thangrain and Marsanki Tariang (convict) of Priang village.

All four dead bodies are presently kept at the morgue in the civil hospital, Ialong. 

The Under Trial Prisoners (UTPs) who escaped from the mob lynching is suspected to be Ramesh Dkhar of Mihmyntdu village and the person who was not in the group Rikmenlang Lamare of Barato village and the whereabouts of the two at present are still unknown and the police are on the lookout for them and on high alert, the minister said.

Earlier, the Home minister informed that a criminal case was registered against the five prison staff – Rajesh Swer (head warden), Champmilan Kynjing (warder), Damelahun Sun (temporary warder), Pyndaphor Bamaon (warder) and Alexier Lawtam (temporary warder) following the escape of the five UTPs and 1 Convict from the District Prison and Correctional Services, Jowai on September 10.

The preliminary enquiry has ascertained that the District Prison Jowai is segregated into three security perimeters whereby the first and outer periphery is managed by the platoon of 6th MLP Bn and the second and third periphery is managed by the staff of the District prison. 

All the UTPs and a convict were inside the 3rd periphery. 

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Rymbui said at around 1.45 pm on September 10, when the warden entered the third periphery gate, he was overpowered and forcefully opened the third gate by overpowering the gatesman in the third gate as well as the second gate. 

On reaching the outer periphery (first gate) which is manned by personnel of 6th MLP Bn, the personnel of 6th MLP Bn tried to stop the jailbreak by firing in the air. 

However, he was assaulted by a sharp weapon in his head and the escapees overpowered him and all managed to escape. 

In this incident, a total of 4 prison staff and 1 police personnel received injuries and out of which 1 police personnel got hospitalized, he said.

Following the escape, all police units in the district were alerted on the escaped UTPs and a convict and subsequently search operations were commenced by all police units and a special team from the district. 

Hue and cry notice was submitted to the special superintendent of police (CID), for circulation to all districts.


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