In what turned out to be an escape inspired from a Bollywood movie, four men, suspected to be members of the Neeraj Bawana gang, reportedly threw chilli powder at three policemen and took away an undertrial prisoner who was being ferried back to Mandoli jail after a medical check-up at the Maulana Azad Medical College and hospital on Monday morning.
The four men first threw chilli powder at three policemen from the Third Battalion of the Delhi Armed Police. The policemen opened fire at them but they fled along with the prisoner, convicted in a murder case.
“The policemen escorting the prisoner have been suspended. An FIR has been registered and further investigation is under process,” said a senior police officer from the Third Battalion.
In the aftermath of this daring escape, the national capital has been put on high alert and vigil at border areas has been tightened.
Confirming the incident, DCP (Third Battalion) DKS Singh said, “Undertrial prisoner Sanjay alias Dhillu was convicted in a murder case and was lodged in Mandoli jail. He had visited the OPD of Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences for treatment on February 9 and was advised to visit again on February 19.”
On Monday, the prisoner was brought to the hospital under the supervision of Assistant Sub Inspector Braj Mohan, Assistant Sub Inspector Naresh Pal and Head Constable Yogender in an Eeco van provided by the jail authorities,”
Singh said, “At 11:20 a.m. when Sandeep along with the police guard was coming out of hospital after consulting the doctor, his associates threw chilli powder in the eyes of the police personnel and managed to free Sanjay from police custody. The police party fired four rounds, but they managed to escape.”
Sandeep was arrested in 2015 over charges of murder and assault. He was brought to Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) for a dental check-up after being referred from the doctors of Mandoli jail, where he was lodged for past two years.
A senior police officer, said, “At MAMC, while Braj Mohan and Yogendra took Dhillon to the doctor, Naresh Pal waited in the vehicle parked outside. Around 11.30 a.m. when the two cops stepped out of the hospital building and were heading towards the police vehicle, four men appeared on two motorcycles and threw chilli powder on Mohan and Yogendra,”
Taken aback, as the two cops lost vision temporarily, Sandeep got himself free of their hold and fled towards one of the bikes. As passersby tried to intervene, the two men on bike flashed arms and opened fire, warning of dire consequences. “Seeing armed men, the policemen opened fire as ASI Naresh Pal also joined the two cops.
In the exchange of fire, at least seven rounds were fired, four of which were fired by the police. However, the four men along with Dhillon, managed to flee,” the officer said, adding that no one was injured in the firing. The two policemen had to be taken to the hospital for a treatment and were soon released.
Other senior officers from the district confirmed that the city has been put on high alert and vigil has been increased at the borders, railway stations, bus terminals and airport.
“Efforts to nab the escapee are being made. CCTV footage is also being checked to ascertain the sequence of events. A special team has been formed to trace his suspected movements and strong leads have been collected. Raids are being conducted at their possible hideouts,” an officer said.