Jail break outcome of lapse in internal security: Minister

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Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, Dec 17 (UNI) Chhattisgarh Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam today admitted that the incident of jail break, in which more than 300 prisoners escaped from the sub-jail here, was the outcome of ''failure in internal security''.

''I do not consider it as a naxalite incident. Its due to a major lapse in internal security,'' he told newsmen after visiting the sub-jail from where the inmates had escaped after attacking the jail staff yesterday evening.

Asked about the possibility of any of the jail staff's connivance with the maoists and sangam members -- naxalite sympathisers, who were lodged in the sub-jail, the minister said an inquiry had already been ordered into the circumstances leading to the incident.

''If anyone is found guilty, we will take strict action against him,'' he said adding that six jail staff had been suspended pending departmental inquiry against them.

Suspended jailer K N Mankar told newsmen that he had come to know about movements of maoist cadres in the forests close to the sub-jail during the day and the matter was immediately reported to the police.

However, jail imates have told newsmen that under trial Sujit Kumar, a naxalite who apparently led the revolt in the jail, was performing the duties of compounder and he enjoyed the freedom to move around inside the jail.

Besides, they also complained that Sujit Kumar and other inmates frequently used mobile phones inside the prison.

Meanwhile, jail department sources claimed that after the Naxalite attack on jail in Jehanabad in Bihar, the union Home Ministry had advised all states concerned to keep naxalite cadres only in central jails.

''However, 150 naxalites and their sympathisers were among those present in the Dantewada sub-jail, located in one of the worst naxalite affected South Bastar region'', they pointed out.

UNI

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