299 inmates including 90 Maoists escape from Chhattisgarh jail


Raipur : Dozens of Maoist militants lodged in a jail in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh overpowered security guards Sunday evening and opened the gates, allowing 299 inmates to escape, police said.

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The incident took place at Dantewada, the headquarters of Dantewada district, about 380 km south of capital Raipur. About 80-90 are Maoists among the escapees, included 15 hardcore rebels. The jail had 377 prisoners.

“The incident is shocking and surprising. It is a well-planned move of Maoists kept in the jail. Reinforcements have reached the prison and a massive hunt has been launched to apprehend the prisoners who walked away after overpowering the security men,” Director General (Jail) Sant Kumar Paswan told IANS by phone from Dantewada.

“It’s a massive security lapse. Security personnel and jail authorities did not put up much resistance and Maoists just got a free walk after firing a few rounds in air from rifles to overpower jail security staff,” a home department official said.

He added that Maoists had looted several rifles and injured two security guards. One inmate also sustained bullet wounds in the attack led by the Maoists.

“Just two guards were on duty at about 5 p.m. and Maoists took just 5-10 minutes to overpower them. The rebels shot at both the guards and then it was a free for all,” the official said.