The state government on September 12 instituted a magisterial and an independent inquiry into the sensational Jowai jailbreak that took place on Saturday.
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 to conduct an independent inquiry into the reasons and circumstances leading to the escape.
MA Challam, Additional District Magistrate has also been deputed to conduct an inquest into the mob lynching of the four 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.
On Sunday, a mob of around 5,000 plus villagers from different unknown villages chased four noted escaped prisoners into a forest area away from Shangpung village, West Jaintia Hills.
Rymbui said on receiving information, a police team proceeded to the place of occurrence but was stopped by an unruly mob.
“The police team tried to negotiate and confront the mob to prevent an attack on the four escapees. However, upon confronting the mob, many policemen got injured. The police team managed to retrieve and remove four unconscious escapees from the place of occurrence to civil hospital with the permission from the magistrate on duty,” he said.
“However, on reaching the hospital, it was declared by the medical officer that all four of them have been 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 the four dead bodies are presently kept at the morgue in 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.
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 one 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 first and outer periphery is managed by the platoon of 6th MLP Bn and second and third periphery is managed by the staff of the district prison. All the UTPs and a convict were inside the third periphery.
Rymbui said at around 1.45 pm on September 10, when the warden entered the third periphery gate, he was overpowered and forcefully made to open the gate by overpowering the gateman at the third and 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 to his head and overpowered, which enabled the prisoners to escape.
In the incident, a total of four prison staff and one policeman received injuries, out of which one police personnel got hospitalised, he said.
Following the escape, all police units in the district were alerted about the escaped UTPs and one convict, and subsequently a search operation was commenced by all police units and special team from the district.
A notice was submitted to the special superintendent of police (CID), for circulation to all districts.