Jail escapee found in disco, injured in police firing

KATHMANDU: One person was injured when police opened fire on a gang of ruffians to put an end to a chaos in Sundhara of Kathmandu in the wee hours on Saturday.

The person who sustained bullet injuries in the left thigh has been identified as Rawanjit Tamang aka Sanki, 30, who had escaped Sindhupalchowk District Prison after the April 25 earthquake destroyed the prison boundary wall. He was doing time on a drug trafficking charge. Kathmandu District Court last year had sentenced Tamang to 10 years in jail.

Tension flared up as sleuths led by DSP Ramesh Thapa of the Metropolitan Police Crime Division cordoned off Babylon Discotheque at around 1:45am and tried to arrest Tamang. Police opened three shots at the hooligans in self-defence after they resisted the attempt to arrest Tamang, the MPCD said.

Police had rushed to the discotheque based on intelligence inputs that the jail escapee Tamang, along with his friends, was in the discotheque. Tamang and his associates were in a drunken stupor when the cops surrounded them.

The on-duty cops had used a Type 77 Chinese Pistol during the security operation.

Police have also arrested Umesh Shrestha for trying to free Tamang from the cops. Tamang is undergoing treatment at Bir Hospital amid tight security.

Police have stepped up manhunt to nab as many as 177 jailbirds who escaped prisons after the earthquake. They have been listed as fugitives as they failed to report to the authorities within two weeks of the disaster.

Police said 216 jailbirds had fled from Sindhupalchowk District Prison after its boundary wall collapsed in the earthquake. Similarly, three of Jagannath Dewal Prison on the premises of Sundhara-based Central Jail and one of Dilli Bazaar Prison had also escaped. Of them, 41 from Sindhupalchowk District Prison and two from Jagannath Dewal Prison were either arrested or had surrendered before the authorities.

“As many as 177 jailbirds are still at large and will be brought to justice soon,” a police official said.

The Department of Prison Management has made an arrangement of accommodating the arrested escapees of Sindhupalchowk District Prison in other jails, including Central Jail for the time being.

According to Section 24(3) of the Prison Act, 1963, if a prisoner flees, he/she will be punished with imprisonment for additional term of one and half times of the remaining term of imprisonment once re-arrested. Police have formed special teams to gather intelligence about the escapees and to send them behind the bar again, bearing in mind their free mobility could pose threat to security in the society.