3 Prisoners escape from Patiala central jail in Punjab.
Three prisoners, including one, sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2010 in connection with the murder of a woman in 2009 in West London and who was transferred to India in November 2018 from the UK, escaped from Patiala Central Jail On Tuesday night.
The prisoners escaped when the night curfew was established, and on a day when the Punjab government increased the curfew hours from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m., which was previously from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Sher Singh (around 30 years old), who was sentenced in 2010 to 22 years in prison for the murder of Geeta Aulakh after she filed for divorce from her husband Harpreet Aulakh, who orchestrated the murder and was also deported to India.
Geeta, 28, who worked as a receptionist at a radio station in the UK, was shot and killed as she went to pick up her two children after work. He died of serious head injuries. His right hand was also cut off.
The other two prisoners who escaped were identified as Jaspreet Singh, who was an underling in a murder case, and Inderjit Singh, who was a convict in a murder case.
While escaping from jail, the trio first broke through the wall of the cell they were housed in, scaled about ten feet from the inner wall, and subsequently scaled the 14-foot peripheral wall.
Jail authorities learned of the escape during the prisoner count early Wednesday morning.
A reading of the CCTV footage, The Indian Express learned, showed the trio climbing the interior wall at 11:29 p.m. The footage, an official said, showed the trio, one by one, placing their feet on each other’s shoulders to reach the top of the wall first and then pulling each one up to escape.
Punjab Police (Prisons) Additional Director General PK Sinha said that while their act of scaling the inner wall was captured on CCTV, it was unclear how they managed to scale the prison’s 14-foot-high peripheral wall.
Between the inner and peripheral wall, there are agricultural fields and prison factories on the sprawling 110 acres of prison facilities.
During the day, nearly a hundred police and prison staff frantically searched the area between the inner and outer wall, albeit unsuccessfully, in the hope that the trio had been hiding somewhere in the area.
Sinha said that an investigation had been instituted and that it would be led by a ranking DIG officer.
Sinha added that the jail was “old” and had “structural problems such as lighting” and others. He also said that the investigation committee would also study the protocols related to the delivery of the prisoners to the barracks.