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11 prisoners escape, 3 re-arrested

October 25, 2001

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GUJRAT, Oct 24: Eleven prisoners escaped from the Mandi Bahauddin District Jail on Wednesday evening after taking the assistant superintendent hostage at gunpoint.

According to reports reaching here, police managed to arrest three of them after a shootout, during which a constable, Aijaz Ahmed, was seriously injured.

The jailbreak occurred at 4.30pm when the 11 inmates were coming out of a van inside the prison after appearing before local courts.

Armed with mausers and a grenade, believed to have been acquired by them during their day-long stay in the judicial lock-up, they took ASJ Abdul Waheed Khan hostage. Holding him at gunpoint, they forced guards to open the main gate. Once out, they took to their heels, resorting to aerial firing.

They were identified as Arshad, Ejaz, Qamar, Shabbir, Nazir, Nasir Iqbal, M. Arshad, Nasir Mehmood, Jehangir, Ausaf and Ghulam Azad. Sources said the jail superintendent, Feroz Shaukat, was on leave.

The SSP, Mandi Bahauddin, Naeem Akram Bhroka, told Dawn by telephone that police had arrested three absconders, including Jehangir, Ausaf and Azad.

He said that the nine prisoners had escaped on foot while two on a motorcycle (GA 9512) they had snatched from Saifullah in front of the outer gate of the prison.

The SSP said that the eight, who had managed to escape, were involved in murder, dacoity, highway robbery and kidnapping cases.