In a startling disclosure by the Metropolitan Police Crime Division, a jail inmate in Sindhupalchowk district has been found at large since the last 28 months after getting someone else to take his place behind bars.
The matter came to light when an inmate at Makwanpur prison was found to have the same identity as another man, who was injured during an incident at Sundhara in Kathmandu last week during which police had to open fire.
A police squad from the Crime Division deployed under DSP Ramesh Thapa opened fire at notorious gangster Rawanjeet Tamang, 29, aka Sanki of Kavre district Saturday, in the course of arresting him at the Babylon Discotheque at Sundhara.
Rawanjeet, who was convicted of drug smuggling and slapped with a 10-year prison term along with Rs 75,000 as penalty, was found to have substituted another inmate — Raj Kumar Tamang, 30 of Kaule, Nuwakot–in his place in jail.
During police investigations, it was learnt that Rawanjeet had escaped prison through an exchangie of identities with Raj Kumar. The two had met at Dillibazar prison where Raj Kumar had been sent following his inability to submit bail in a case of motorbike theft.
“It appears the two appealed for transfer to Sindhupalchowk jail in a plot they had hatched to escape prison,” said SSP Sarbendra Khanal, chief of the Crime Division. After a month in prison, Rawanjeet was transferred to Sindhupalchowk along with Rajkumar.
“But the two managed to exchanged their prison documents with the help of prison staff before they entered Sindhupalchowk jail,” said police, citing Raj Kumar’s statement. About 28 months ago on 3rd March 2013, Rawanjeet was released from prison instead of Rajkumar. Police have also learnt that Rawanjeet had assured Rajkumar of providing him some cash and making a court appeal for the latter’s early release.
Rajkumar was on the run after the massive earthquake of April 25 damaged the prison. He later came back under the control of prison authorities in Sindhupalchowk and was shifted to Makawanpur. It was also found that Rawanjeet, who was rather enjoying life after leaving prison, had filed an appeal at Patan Appellate Court and the case has been under consideration since then.
Police said that they are to make further investigations into the case and that they suspect negligence on the part of prison staff in the prisoner mix-up.