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Day after Pujari case accused flees, cops still groping in dark

A day after an accused in the Nayana Pujari rape and murder case escaped from Sassoon General Hospital, the police had no clue about his whereabouts. Yogesh Raut, the prime accused in the case, had been taken to Sassoon for a check-up on Saturday afternoon and gave the police the slip there. A case was registered against a constable for negligence on duty. The Bundgarden police went to Raut's village Ghodegaon in Khed and looked for him at all possible hideouts in the city, but could not find him. The police yesterday said they had formed teams to look for Raut.

It was the fourth incident in the past year in which a convict or an undertrial had escaped from Sassoon.
Raut escaped between 1.15 pm and 1.45 pm. He had been admitted to Sassoon after he complained of itching all over his body and stomachache. He was escorted by Police Naik S S Patil attached to the police headquarters.

As per procedure, all convicts or undertrials who are brought to Sassoon for treatment are handed over to a team from the police headquarters by the jail authorities. According to API S L Dubal, after check-up Raut sought permission to go to the toilet and was granted it. After he did not return for some time, the police naik went to look for him but discovered he had run away from the hospital.

"There is no toilet on the ground floor. Even though Patil knew that the toilet was on the second floor, he did not accompany him to the door of the toilet," said Dubal. "That is why we have registered a case against Patil besides the one against Raut for fleeing from official custody." DCP (Headquarters) Shirish Sardeshpande said, "In this case we will initiate inquiry against the constable and others. If they are found at fault, we will take stern action."

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