2 inquiries instituted in jailbreak : Meghalaya HM
Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui

Shillong: The Meghalaya government has instituted two inquiries to probe the Jowai jailbreak and subsequent lynching of four of the fugitives by villagers in West Jaintia Hills district, state Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui informed the Assembly on Monday.

The minister said a mob of not less than 5000 people was involved in the lynching on Sunday of three undertrial prisoners and a convict who had escaped from the district jail on September 10.

The additional superintendent of police has been entrusted to conduct an inquiry into the reason and circumstance that led to the jailbreak. Additional district magistrate P K Boro has been entrusted to inquire into the matter of the jail break, Rymbui told the Assembly in a suo moto statement on the matter.

Another officer, M A Shallam has been deputed to conduct the inquest on the bodies of the four prison escapees who were declared brought dead by doctors of the civil hospital, he said.

The minister, however, did not announce any legal action by the state against those involved in the lynching.

The head warden of Jowai jail head, C Kynjing, three jail officials and a subordinate staff were arrested in connection with the jail break, he said.

Rymbui said a total five undertrial prisoners and a convicted had overpowered the jail staff and injured them before fleeing. A policeman was attacked with a sharp weapon and was hospitalized, he informed.

Stating that two fugitives, both undertrial prisoners are still out and about, the home minister requested the people not to “take the law in their own hands” when dealing with unlawful activities.

Please cooperate with law enforcement agencies on any matter. Let the law take its own course, he appealed.

According to the police five of the six fugitives had reached Shangpung village on Sunday, about 70 km away after the jailbreak. One of them was identified by the locals when he went to a wayside shop to buy food at around 3 pm and the entire area was alerted, village headman R Rabon told PTI.

This led to a large number of locals to turn up and chase the fugitives to a nearby forest before attacking them. Four prisoners died in the attack, while one of them, named Ramesh Dkhar, managed to escape, Rabon said.

The sixth prisoner was nowehere to be seen during the attack, officials later told mediapersons.

A purported video of the incident which surfaced showed angry villagers, armed with sticks, apprehending the prisoners and beating them mercilessly.

Two of the prisoners were arrested in the murder of taxi drivers in August, police said.

West Jaintia Hills superintendent of police B K Marak said police officers are at the spot and conducting inquiry and other necessary formalities.

“A case has been registered in Jowai police station against the prison staff and five of them – a head warden and four wardens have been arrested so far,” he said.

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