Undertrials’ escape: Cops suspended for negligence

The district superintendent of police (DSP) of Bharuch suspended all the four members of police escort team and a police sub-inspector (PSI) late on Thursday night after two undertrials escaped from their custody.

"The four constables were escorting the undertrials as well as a reserved PSI responsible for deployment of the escort team have been suspended with immediate effect. While the constables were negligent on duty, PSI N J Parmar did not follow standard practice of deployment," DSP Gautam Parmar told The Indian Express on Friday.

Head constable Kailasa Tarachand and constables Sajan Karaj, Rajendra Bhupat and Harshad were escorting four undertrials back to Bharuch sub-jail in a car after producing them in a local court in Vadodara when two of them escaped by assaulting driver of the vehicle.

The accused, identified as Brijbhushan alias Butul Pandey, Santosh Singh, Guddu Bharati and Shivshankar Pandey, had been arrested by Bharuch police in September last year for cases of murder and loot. They were brought to Vadodara court in connection with the same case.

However, Brijbhushan and Singh escaped from the police car near Varnama on Thursday afternoon while the escort team had managed to overpower Guddu and Shivshankar.

"The accused were hardcore criminals but Parmar deployed three newly-recruited Lok Rakshak constables. According to practice, able-bodied men should have been there in the escort team," the DSP further said.

Asked why the escort team did not fire to prevent the prisoners to run away, Parmar said, "It a matter of inquiry. What has happened is being investigated."

However, Varnama police sub-inspector (PSI) R J Gohil said Sajan Karaj, the armed constable in the escort team, could not fire since the prisoners had tried to snatch his 303 rifle. The suspended policemen would now face a departmental inquiry.

Meanwhile, Varnama police said on Friday evening they had made no headway in tracing the two runaway undertrials even as the rest two were sent back to Bharuch sub-jail late on Thursday.

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