10-year jail term for ASI KC, six-month for 17 others
DHARAN, Nov 28: A probe committee formed by the Nepal police to investigate into the Jhumka jail break has recommended 10-year jail term for Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Jit Bahadur KC and six-month jail term each for 17 other policemen, including inspector Ishwor Subedi.
In its report submitted to the Eastern Regional Police Office, the committee led by SSP Ramesh Phuyal, chief of the Koshi Zonal Police Office, recommended jail terms for only 18 of the total 46 policemen deployed for the jail´s security when 12 inmates, including Bangladeshi and Indian nationals, escaped the prison by digging an 80-feet tunnel early this month. The Phuyal committee, which has recommended departmental actions against 21 policemen, has acquitted only seven policemen, including two women, out of the total 46.
At a press meet Tuesday in Dharan, SSP Phuyal said that ASI KC was directly involved in the jail break whereas other policemen, including inspector Basnet, were guilty of only negligence. "The jail break was possible due to the negligence by police personnel and jail authorities," said SSP Phuyal. "On top of that, ASI KC was found to have directly helped the escapees."
According to Phunyal, call details of KC´s cell phone proved that he had spoken to Jaini Khatun, wife of Ali Asraf Ansari, the mastermind of the jail break, several times before and during the jail break. "Our investigation also revealed that KC threatened other inmates who tried to expose the jail break plan," said Phuyal. "So, we have proposed longest jail term for KC."
Inspector Basnet, who was in-charge of the jail´s security, was found guilty for not fulfilling his duty and overlooking orders for tightening security, according to Phuyal. The committee has also slapped a fine of Rs 200 on Basnet ,beside six-month prison term. "All 17 policemen, beside KC, will face six-month jail terms as per Prison Management Act," he said.
On the basis of the report, the office of the district attorney will file a case against 18 policemen. They will be sentenced only after being convicted by the court.
In its report, the Phuyal committee has also exposed Ansari´s nexus with police personnel and jail authorities. Ansari, who ran a furniture factory providing cover-up for digging the tunnel, would pay Rs 5,000 to inspector Basnet and Rs 7,000 to jailer Ram Prasad Upadhyay every 10 days. In return, Basnet and Upadhyay turned a blind eye to all activities inside the factory.
On November 9, Ansari, along with 11 other inmates escaped from the Jhumka jail. Apart from the Phuyal committee, another high-level committee led by Shambhu Koirala, Director General of the Department of Prison Management, was also formed to probe the Jhumka jailbreak. The Koirala committee has already submitted its report.