Jailbreak at terror men’s block in Kannur

via PNS | Kannur published on June 14, 2010

Two prisoners, one serving life-term for murder and the other imprisoned for multiple robberies, escaped from the Central Prison in Kannur, Kerala on Sunday-Monday night, revealing the glaring security lapses in the jail. The duo had escaped from Block 10, where LeT commander Thadiyantavide Nazeer and his aide and relative Shafaz, both accused in the Bangalore blasts case, were kept.

The prison authorities were not even sure about the approximate time of the escape of prisoners Jayanand alias Ripper Jayan (39) of Mala, Thrissur and Riyas (26) of Kasaragod on Sunday night. “The jailbreak could have taken place between 11.00 pm Sunday and 5.00 am Monday but the exact time is yet to be established,” said a police official. Mysteriously, the prison’s close circuit television cameras, installed just over a week ago, were not functioning when the jailbreak occurred.

Considering the seriousness of the security lapse, five prison personnel including Deputy Jailer Sudhakar were suspended from service and two temporary employees were dismissed. Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) Alexander Jacob would supervise a probe into the incident which would be carried out by V Jayakumar, Superintendent, Sub-Jail, Kasaragod.

Security experts said that the jailbreak was proof of how lightly the prison authorities were taking security matters, especially as the two criminals had escaped from the same block where dreaded terrorists Nazeer and Shafaz used to be lodged. “This proves that even dreaded terrorists can escape easily,” said a retired jailer in Kozhikode. Both Jayanand and Riyas had a history of making efforts for jailbreak.

KP Philip, Superintendent of Police, Kannur, said that the duo could have got external help for the jailbreak. He also said that the police had got some clues about the incident and added that the duo would be caught soon. The police under PP Sadanandan, Circle Inspector, Kannur Town, were continuing the hunt for the escapees in the district.

Prison authorities, who failed to offer a plausible explanation as to why the CCTV cameras were out of functioning, said Jayanand and Riyas, lodged in the same cell in Block 10, had escaped after careful planning. They had arranged two dummies in the cell before leaving it by removing a steel thick bar on the gate to ease themselves out. After leaving the cell, they had put the steel bar in the gate.

Jayanand, known as Ripper Jayan for his track-record of committing several murders, was serving life imprisonment at the Kannur prison in a murder case. He had been awarded punishment in six cases and as many cases were pending in the court. The Ripper had earlier tried to escape from the Central Prison in Viyyur, Thrissur, by digging a tunnel from the toilet. There were 36 cases of robbery against Riyas, who had even undergone a plastic surgery to change his appearance, in Kerala and Karnataka.

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