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8 held after 4 remand home inmates escape in Nalanda

Four inmates escaped from a juvenile remand home near Deepnagar police station in Nalanda town on Monday evening, by removing the windowpanes from the windows in their rooms. All the four inmates were involved in a series of serious criminal incidents, including murder, rape and kidnapping and are residents of Asthawan, Hilsa, Ekangarsarai and Nawada.

Home guard jawans Raj Kumar, Rajaram Prasad, Binod Ravidas, Sunder Lal and Prem Kant Kumar, who were on duty at the time of the inmates’ escape, have been arrested for negligence of duty and are in police custody. The police have also arrested remand home superintendent Dirghraj, cook Sunil Singh and helper Ashwini Kumar. The police did not find any clues from the spot, apart from the iron rod the boys used to break open the window panes.

A senior official of the social welfare department said the authorities had decided to hold a departmental enquiry into the repeated incidents of escape of inmates from remand homes in Bihar. Yogendra Prasad, district magistrate of Nalanda said that a probe committee under the supervision of the DDC has been constituted. “I have sought a detailed report about the circumstances that led to the inmates’ escape despite presence of security personnel, and identify lapses to fix accountability.”

The DM said, “If it is found that there was laxity on part of any staff members, they will be punished. The incident is of a serious nature.”

Preliminary investigations revealed that the plan of the escape had been carefully hatched with the help of a few hardcore criminals outside and it was meticulously executed, said a police officer.

“The incident has also called for the need to properly verify if the inmates are really minor or they reach remand homes by fudging documents to escape harsh punishment commensurate with their crime. One of the boys who escaped was recently arrested in Telangana and brought here. He appeared to be an adult, but he claimed to be a minor and provided documents to substantiate his claim. This often creates serious problems in remand homes, which is meant for minors in conflict with law,” he added.

There were 40 inmates lodged in the Nalanda remand home and 12 home guard jawans are deputed there for round the clock vigil. Arrested home guard jawans were being interrogated as to how the boys managed to flee after climbing the remand home’s high boundary wall.

On May 3, senior magistrate of the Juvenile Justice board, along with the DM and the SP had inspected the remand home and were unhappy with the management. They had also seized incriminating materials like contraband materials, mobiles and chargers from the remand home premises.

In Bihar, the case involving alleged sexual exploitation of minor girls in a shelter home in Muzaffarpur is already subjudice in the SC. A report of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences had exposed poor condition of several remand homes in the state.

First Published:
May 15, 2019 01:40 IST

Source: HindustanTimes