Two undertrials were shot dead and three were injured in West Singhbhum district from among a group of 55 prisoners who attempted to flee the jail premises on Tuesday afternoon. All 55 undertrials were being brought back in a van after having been presented in Chaibasa court earlier in the day. Fifteen prisoners managed to flee. Teepa Das and Ram Vilas Tanti, who were killed while trying to escape, were in Chaibasa district jail on charges related to Maoist violence.
Teepa Das was accused of being a Zonal Commander of the CPI (Maoist). “Fifty-five undertrials, of whom 26 were in jail on charges of Maoist activities, were presented in court. At 4 pm, the jail van returned to the jail premises through the main gate. The jail staff failed to close the main gate as is the routine, and all the undertrials had come out of the van by then. They made an attempt to escape seeing the gate was still open. Teepa Das and Ram Vilas Tanti died on the spot from bullet injuries,” West Singhbhum Superintendent of Police Narendra Kumar Singh told The Hindu.
Mr Singh said, of the 15 undertrials who managed to escape, seven were on trial in cases related to Maoist charges. Three undertrials who were inured in scuffle with policemen are being treated for injuries at the district government hospital. “We are carrying out combing operations in the forest areas nearby,” said district police officials.