KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday termed the escape of two prisoners from Karachi Central Jail as most serious incident and suspended Deputy Inspector General prison over the incident.
The CM has ordered posting of a “good police officer” in place of the suspended DIG prison. He took this decision while presiding over a meeting on the security of prisons across Sindh and to review progress of the inquiry being conducted into the incident of escaping of two prisoners from Central Jail Karachi on June 13.
He held jail staff responsible for escape of the two prisoners who are suspected of involvement in terrorist activities.
“The escape from jail is an unusual and unprecedented incident which could not take place without the involvement of jail staff,” he said.
Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, Sindh Minister for Prisons Ziaul Hassan Lanjar, Home Secretary Qazi Shahid Parvaiz, Additional Inspector General CTD Sanaullah Abbasi, Additional IG Karachi Mushtaq Maher, IG Prison Nusrat Manghan and others were also present during the meeting.
“How many inspections the DIG Prison has conducted of the jails before this incident took place,” he asked from the Jail Department and the answer was in negative.
The chief minister taking its serious view ordered to place the services of DIG Prison under suspension and directed the home minister to spare a good police officer for posting him as new DIG Prison.
The chief minister categorically told the jail department that he would not spare any one, if he is found involved in escaping two prisoners from central jail. “Let the inquiry report come and I’ll launch cleanup operation in all the jails,” he said.
“The prisoners did not flee from jail, but comfortably stepped out of it in connivance with the relevant jail officials,” he said.
It may be noted that the additional IG CTD is conducting inquiry into the incident and would shortly present his report to the chief minister.
The CM directed the IG to conduct investigation from every aspect and present a comprehensive report in this regard.
To a query, IG Prison Nusrat Mangan said that TV sets, pedestal fans and stoves were given to inmates under jail manual only cell phones were taken inside the jail illegally.
The chief minister expressed his displeasure when he learnt that the incident took place on June 13 but was reported to the jail authorities on June 14. “This is very serious. Had it been reported on the same day, the escapees could have been arrested again,” he said and asked the IG Prison to brief him about the head count system in the prisoners.
IG Jail Nusrat Mangan said that in the evening incharge head count (a head constable) makes head-counting of the inmates and records it in the register.
On this the chief minister said “it means on June 13, the head count was recorded as complete as per its numerical strength of the inmates while the fact was contrary,” he said and added ” this shows the head count system is defective, inefficient and is made just as formality. Had it been efficient, the escape of prisoners would have detected in the head count,” he said and asked where was the incharge head count. The IG Prison said he was behind the bars. On this the chief minister said he should be there and must be interrogated professionally.
Minister for Jail Department Ziaul Hassan Lanjar told the chief minister, “Taking the incident seriously, I arrested 15 jail officials, including Jail superintendent and ordered registration of FIR into the incident,” he said.
Sanaullah Abbasi who was conducting inquiry into the incident, said that the search of the jail prior to collection of evidence by IO and his team served as removal of evidence. “The search of the jail which is very good thing should have been done after collection of evidence by the concerned IO,” he said.
He said that both the escaped inmates belong to Karachi. The FIR registered against the crime (escape of prisoners) is defective and the IO instead of getting the physical remand of the arrested jail officials got their judicial custody which has affected interrogation process. On this the chief minister ordered the suspension of SHO and IO concerned.
Chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah directed Home Secretary Qazi Shahid Parvez to conduct security audit of all the prions in the province and give him report.
He also ordered him (Home Secretary) to remove those jails officials from their duties who have suspicious service record and are unreliable. “Our law enforcement agencies arrest terrorists and outlaws with great intelligence, hard work and sacrifices and they (prisoners) can not allowed to escape unpunished,” he said categorically.
He directed Additional IG CTD to conduct thorough inquiry from all the angels and report him. He also told the police department to make all out efforts to arrest the escaped inmates. “I want to see them ( escapees) again behind the bar,” he ordered.