Jamshedpur: Non-compliance of standard operating procedure (SOP) by prison guards was a major reason that allowed undertrial prisoners including seven naxalites to escape from Chaibasa divisional jail in West Singhbhum district yesterday, a senior police officer on Wednesday said.
The SOP was not followed and guards on duty kept open the main entrance of the jail as well as the jail van, in which the undertrial prisoners were brought back to prison following their production in the local court which allowed them opportunity to flee, said Superintendent of Police NK Singh.
As per procedure, the guard has to close the main entrance only after all prisoners get inside the jail premises before the same guard open the small gate inside the jail to allow the prisoners in but unfortunately, the main entrance as well as the door of the van were wide open when the incident took place, he said.
Singh, however, appreciated the other personnel on duty, who opened fire killing two CPI (Maoists) "commanders" and injuring three others.
The officer said that action will be taken against the erring police personnel in this connection.
A joint report of the Deputy Commissioner of West Singhbhum and Police Superintendent will be submitted to the higher ups soon in this regard, he said.
Earlier yesterday, 20 undertrial inmates were engaged in a scuffle with the policemen on duty and threw chilli powder in their eye before escaping from the jail.
However, a santari on duty opened fire following a warning killing two self-styled "platoon commanders" of the ultra outfit and injuring three others while fifteen others managed to escape.
Massive raids were being conducted in possible hideouts after a high alert was sounded and the border sealed to apprehend the prisoners, Singh added.
The two rebels killed in the police firing were identified as Tipa Das and Ramvilas Tanti.