ITAHARI, Nov 22: A high-level committee formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) to probe into Jhumka jailbreak has found prison staffers and police equally guilty.
In its report submitted to MoHA on Wednesday, the committee led by Director General of the Department of Prison Management Shambhu Koirala has concluded that almost all prison staffers and policemen failed to fulfill their duties, which helped the inmates escape from the jail.
Although the committee has not yet made its report public, DIG Gopal Bhandari, one of the probe committee members, on Thursday told Republica that the report held all but five women policemen guilty. Altogether 46 policemen, led by inspector Ishwor Basnet, were deployed for the security of the jail.
Previously, a separate probe team led by police SSP Ramesh Phunyal had implicated only 17 policemen, including Basnet, for involvement in the jailbreak.
Similarly, according to DIG Bhandari, the report has also implicated all jail staffers barring a few office assistants. Jailer Ram Prasad Upadhayay has also been held guilty of negligence."We found that no one fulfilled their duties,” said DIG Bhandari.
"The jail administration allowed some inmates to establish a furniture factory on the prison premises without seeing possible threat”," said Bhandari, “It is sheer negligence on the part of the jail administration."
MoHA has stated that it will take actions against all jail staffers and policemen found guilty by the Koirala-led committee. “We have already initiated necessary process to take action as recommended against the guilty by the probe committee," said Shankar Koirala, spokesperson for MoHA.
On the other hand, the Phunyal committee, which has now got one more week to submit its report, has concluded that sub inspector Jit Bahadur KC and policeman Raghu Yadav were more responsible than other policemen. KC and Yadav, who were earlier taken to the Zonal Police Office, Koshi, have now been brought to the District Police Office of Morang for further investigation.
On November 9, altogether 12 inmates, including one Bangladeshi and two Indian nationals, had escaped from the Jhumka jail by digging an 80-feet tunnel.
The escapees had managed to dig the tunnel without letting other inmates know about their plan under the cover of manufacturing bamboo furniture. Other inmates were not allowed to enter the furniture factory.
Eleven of the total 12 escapees are convicted criminals -- most of them involved in cases of murder, abduction, drug peddling and human trafficking.