Mumbai: Thieves break lockup grill, escape through drainage pipe

Apr 09, 2013, 10:52 IST | Saurabh Vaktania

In what can only be defined as an embarrassing moment for the city's police department, two accused fled the lockup from the second storey of a police station in broad daylight

The two accused, Raju Raghunandas Das (20) and Tambi Veerswami Harijan alias Veerappan (21), were arrested by the Santacruz police on Saturday night. The duo was produced in the Bandra Holiday Court on Sunday and was remanded in police custody for seven days.

Raju Das ( left) and Veerappan

The accused were locked up in the two-storey building located on the premises of the police station. A source from the police station said around 5.30 pm on Sunday, while one of the two constables deployed to guard the accused went to answer nature’s call, the other dozed off. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the accused broke the grill and rushed to the terrace. They then climbed down using the drainage pipe and escaped.

It was the locals who alerted the police after they spotted two people climbing down the drainage pipe. Despite being chased by police officials and a traffic official, the duo managed to escape. Criminals from Bandra to Amboli (Andheri) are kept in teh Santacruz lockup. The lockup also has the facility to keep women offenders. Though the building is fitted with a CCTV camera, it was not operational when the duo escaped.

Raju Das (above, left) and Veerappan escaped from the Santacruz lockup on Sunday. Pic/Satyajit Desai

A police official said, “It is a wake up call for careless officials. The accused who escaped were burglars. The situation could have become precarious had it been a serial killer or a dreaded gangster who had escaped. Sloppy officials should be punished. How can offenders escape from police custody right in front of their eyes?”

Veerappan was arrested from Khar Danda yesterday. Senior Police Inspector Arun Chavan said, “Veerappan was hiding in a thicket in the area and was arrested in the morning. A case under Section 224 of the IPC was registered against him. Manhunt has been launched for Das.”

Convict escapes in jail uniform
Surya John (27), who was convicted of theft and sentenced to a month’s imprisonment on March 28, managed to escape the lockup in front of the police officials, while still clad in jail clothes. Police officials said John was a drug addict.

Sources said he is a resident of Tardeo. He escaped from the lockup premises in the morning yesterday after scaling the main gate in front of a constable who was keeping an eye on John and another inmate who was sweeping the premises. John managed to escape despite being chased by five constables. A case was registered against him at Nagpada police station and the police have launched a manhunt to arrest him.

Thief flees from court premises
Asif Pathan (25) who was arrested for his involvement in several cases of theft by officials of the Amboli police station, escaped from the Andheri Court premises yesterday afternoon through a toilet window. He was lodged at Taloja Jail and was produced in court yesterday. After the hearing, Pathan told the officials that he wanted to visit the restroom. While he went in, a few officials guarded the door.

It was here when Pathan escaped through the toilet window, climbed down the drainage pipe and fled the court premises. It was a long time before the officials guarding the door realised that Pathan had been inside the toilet for too long. They were in for a rude shock when they broke open the door and found him missing. 

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