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CLUELESS: Commission report on Bhopal jailbreak-cum-encounter has no answers, no findings

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

BHOPAL: The judicial commission's report on the Bhopal jailbreak-cum-encounter, has revealed nothing about the circumstances that led to the escape of suspected SIMI men from the prison and the subsequent encounter. 

It fails to tell anything about how such a serious security breach could take place in the high-security prision and despite the long inquiry, it simply tells that 'the eight under-trial prisoners managed to scale the wall after overpowering the jail guards and escaped'. 

The commission's report then says that these men had an encounter with the policemen, and refused to surrender. Nowhere, the commission report even makes an attempt to suggest that how the escapees managed to get weapons.

Further, how they opened locks and managed to overpower security men before making 'ladders by tying bedsheets'! There is nothing about malfunctioning of CCTV system in the jails.

In fact, it accepts everything the police had earlier said in its defence and simply puts it down on paper, without even making an effort to find out the circumstances that led to the jailbreak. 

Soon after encounter, ATS chief had said that the escaped under-trials didn't have weapons. The probe could have at least focused on bringing out facts. The commission suggests enhancing security measures in the Central jails.

Further, it justifies the encounter and suggests that the prison department should be brought under the Home department for better coordination. The encounter had taken place on the night of October 31, 2006.

A jail security personnel and eight under-trial prisoners had died in the incident. Retired judge SK Pandey was given the task to conduct the inquiry. Scores of policemen, kin of the slain under-trial prisoners and witnesses' statements were recorded. But they find no mention in the report, that has been tabled in the Assembly.