Probe started against 10 Navi Mumbai police officials who let killer escape

The Navi Mumbai police have started an inquiry against the 10 police personnel responsible for the escape of a Taloja jail prisoner facing murder charges.

The cops were suspended on Tuesday. A probe has been initiated after the Mumbai police, in its report to the Navi Mumbai police chief, found 'criminal involvement' of the suspended cops. Sources said that the Navi Mumbai police chief had instructed that the suspended cops be made co-accused in the case. While three cops are under scanner for their direct involvement, seven others were suspended for flouting rules pertaining to escorting inmates.

Navi Mumbai deputy commissioner of police (headquarters) Sudhakar Pathhare told mid-day, "A preliminary inquiry has been initiated against the 10 cops and after that a departmental inquiry, where if found guilty, they will face the strictest action."

Criminal escapes
The 10 cops were to escort three prisoners from Taloja jail to JJ hospital on Saturday. Among the three prisoners was Prem alias Hanumant Sadashiv Patil (28), who is facing murder charges.

The police said Patil offered a bribe of R40,000 to the three cops to allow them to meet his wife Manali in a hotel room. The cops agreed and the three escorted him from JJ hospital to Brightway Hotel in Grant Road. There one cop stood outside the first floor hotel room while the rest waited outside the hotel. Later, the hotel manager informed the cop outside the room that Patil had escaped from the rear window of the room.

Lies to seniors
“The cops then went to JJ hospital and lied that Patil had escaped from their custody on the pretext of going to buy medicines. When the police checked the CCTV footage in the area, the cops’ lie was caught out,” said a police officer. “The cops’ negligence led to the prisoner’s escape and accordingly action should be taken against them,” an officer privy to the inquiry said.

DCP, zone I Manojkumar Sharma said, “We have sent a detailed report to commissioner of police, Navi Mumbai.”
The JJ Marg police are investigating the case of Patil’s escape and have arrested his wife for helping him. She is in police custody till Saturday. Various teams from Navi Mumbai and Mumbai police are hunting for Patil.

Criminal escaped once before

Patil, in 2013, had allegedly kidnapped and murdered a CIDCO employee Atul Mahtre over a disputed piece of land in Navi Mumbai. He was booked by the Panvel police station under section 365, 363 and 302 of the IPC. He was at Taloja jail for the past 18 months. A few months ago he had escaped from Vashi civic hospital but was later caught.

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