CCTV off, moulds, knife: SIMI activists jailbreak an ‘inside job’
- Senior police officer admitted of inside help.
- Evidence found to support the same.
- One head constable was killed and a prison guard was gagged during the incident.
Moulds matching keys to locks, knife near a drain, and non-functioning CCTV cameras covering the Block B area of Central Jail of Bhopal have made the senior police officers of the state admit that the recent jailbreak of the SIMI activists was a resulted due inside help and complicity and not because of lax policing.
As per The Indian Express report, a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity disclosed that 'the extent of "inside help" involved in the jailbreak was "staggering".'
When MP Home Minister, Bhupendra Singh, was contacted he said it was "impossible to escape without inside collusion" and also he alleged that it was facilitated by "funding from outside".
He further added, "It must have taken elaborate planning over two to three months because it is not possible to make duplicate keys so early and without help from an insider,”
The eight banned SIMI activists who escaped the prison were encountered in Acharpura which is approximately 12 km away from the Central Jail. Audio clips of the encounter suggest that the police involved in the encounter were instructed to "finish them all" and also different video clips of the encounter have surfaced leading to various questions.
Following are the clues that resulted in the conclusion that the jailbreak was an inside job.
1. The three non-functioning CCTV cameras: These cameras were positioned to record the activities of Block B where there undertrial SIMI activists were kept. According to the senior officer, "There are around 50 cameras in the jail, most of which are working, but these three being off together is far too much of a coincidence. They had been turned off,”
The CCTV cameras installed in the jail have seven days' residual memory, and the non-functioning cameras were switched off for a longer period because of which there is no video footage available for the entire past week. The officer also said, "One of the three cameras was brand new, installed a few months ago when Rs 20 lakh had been left over after three other jails in the state had cameras sanctioned for them. We put it in Block B because of the presence of those accused under UAPA and terror cases. That, too, was turned off,”.
2. The presence of key moulds: Soon after the jailbreak, the police officers found key moulds of the locks that were used by the activists to break out of the jail. The duplicate keys were made from hard plastic toothbrushes and sticks the officer revealed.
He added, "So they took off the brush, and were left with a hard stick. But somebody seems to have made the moulds for the keys outside, and given it to them inside. One theory is that they found a way to heat the end of the toothbrush or stick, and fit it into the lock. But that is very hard because the locks to the barracks are not inbuilt, but dangle on latches outside. To get the groove markings, one would have to turn the lock,”
3. Knife found near drain: Another officer disclosed that the senior state government officials found a knife next to the drain which is near a wall that the escaped prisoners scaled.
The officer said, “There were sharp instruments fashioned from utensils as has been said, but the knife that was found near the drain was a long, standard one. No prisoner is allowed these, and there are meant to be regular checks. The rope itself, fashioned out of bedsheets, must have been 50 feet long. It was trailing on the ground on the other side of the outer 35-feet wall, which they scaled down. They had access to far too much material, and too much work went into this for it to go unseen,”
The police officer said that the prisoners attacked and killed Ramashankar Yadav, head constable, and gagged Chandan Ahirwar, a prison guard, before making their way out.
“The watch guards were sleeping. Many personnel were on leave because of Diwali, as well,” added the officer.