Thirteen prisoners who were being driven back to jail after a court hearing overpowered their guards and escaped at gun point in Uttar Pradesh's Banda district, police said today.
Among those who escaped include two robbers from the Thokia gang who had killed several policemen some years ago.
The incident took place Wednesday night in the Atarra area of Banda district when the undertrial prisoners were being taken back to jail from a court in Chitrakoot in a prison van.
During the journey, the prisoners overpowered the guards and attacked the armed constables and 13 of them fled at gun point, said police.
They beat up a head constable and three other constables before escaping into the thickets.
The guards managed to stop seven other prisoners from escaping.
"In an apparently pre-planned manner, the undertrials started fighting among each other when the prison van was near the Sai Baba Temple in the Rahosat Miner area," a police official said.
Soon, the prisoners took the rifles of the guards and broke the iron mesh and glass windowpanes and hopped off one-by-one from the moving vehicle.
The 13 prisoners who escaped have been identified as Sheelu, Chunnilal, Sandeep, Shiv Moorat, Lala, Pandit, Raju, Rohit, Ram Bahoori, Moorti, Kailash, Munna and Pahadi.
Combing operations to track down the escaped prisoners have started, officials said. The Madhya Pradesh police has also been alerted.