Bengaluru: Murder convict slips out of central jail’s front gates posing as a visitor

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Bengaluru: The prison department, which was claiming that it had tightened security inside the Parappana Agrahara central prison after the escape of notorious serial rapist and killer Jaishankar in September 2013, is red faced again. This time, a 33-year-old murder convict, lodged in the ‘high-security’ prison, outwitted the prison staff and walked out through the front gate of the prison on Friday evening.

The runaway prisoner has been identified as Manjunath (prisoner number 4216), a native of Chitradurga. Police said Manjunath was sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case and has served seven years.

On Friday evening, he came near the main gate of the prison and was questioned by the staff. He allegedly claimed that he had come to extend his parole period and showed the seal that is put on the hands of visitors. As he was wearing civil dress, the staff did not suspect him.

“Without even cross-checking his claim, the prison staff let him go. They realised their blunder only on Friday night when they conducted the roll-call. They found a convict missing and searched for him on the prison premises, but could not find him. They then verified the CCTV footage of the prison and found out Manjunath going out of the prison wearing civil dress exactly at 5.10 pm. The prison department officials immediately filed a complaint with the Parappana Agrahara police station, who swung into action to nab the convict,” the police said.

The prison department suspended four staff, who were at the gate duty when Manjunath escaped. “We have initiated a probe into the incident. We have got information about Manjunath and he will be nabbed soon,” said V. S. Raja, Additional Inspector General of Prisons.

Prison department sources said that the casual approach of the prison staff towards visitors was the reason for the easy escape of Manjunath.

“The staff at the gate will be always thinking of how much bribe they could collect from the visitors. Even in this case, they might have collected money from Manjunath thinking that he was already gone on parole and would be having money with him,” a source alleged.

Further, doubts have been raised on how a convict prisoner got a civil dress. “Even there is no proper procedure in maintaining the register of visitors. Manjunath, who knew how things work inside the prison, has exploited the shortcomings there and escaped,” another officer said.

Porous security

The CCTV footage shows Manjunath coming out of the barrack number D2 around 4.30 pm, wearing white dress meant for convicts.

He goes to the laundry room and is seen coming out wearing civil dress. Then he goes to the administrative block, where it is suspected that he might have got the seal. Around 5 pm, he is seen being questioned by the staff at the gate and then walks out of the main gate.

It may be recalled that in September 2013, notorious serial rapist and killer Jaishankar had scaled a 30-feet security wall of the prison and had escaped.

He was, however, caught after a few days. The prison department had stepped up security in the prison after the incident.

Prisoner attacks cop, makes escape bid

In another incident reported on Saturday evening, Anand Kumar, a convict in a murder case, attacked a policeman escorting him and tried to escape. However, he was immediately nabbed by other police staff. The incident took place when the convict was brought for treatment at Nimhans.

Kumar, a native of Malur in Kolar, was convicted to life imprisonment in a murder case and was lodged in Parappana Agrahara central prison from 2008.

According to the police, the escort police staff had brought 11 inmates, including Kumar, for treatment at Nimhans around 2.30 pm on Saturday. Soon after entering the Nimhans premises, Kumar allegedly took out a knife and stabbed Muniswamy, an Armed Head Constable attached to the City Armed Reserve police force. Immediately, Kumar tried to escape, but the other police staff overpowered him and nabbed him.

Muniswamy, who was injured in the incident has been hospitalised and he is out of danger. The Siddapura police have registered cases against Kumar in connection with the incident.

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