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The Pity State of ‘Modern Central Jail’ at Colvale; Inmate Who Escaped Still Not Found

Modern Central Jail Colvale
Modern Central Jail Colvale (Image Credits: JoeGoaUk)

Goa’s Modern Central Jail in Colvale has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, and it continues to, even when the state had set-up the premises as a ‘modern one’ to cater to inmates lodged for various criminal activities. 

However, the recent escape of inmates over the last month has been the eye-opener for several authorities, primarily the Prison wing of the Goa police. 

Two days back, one person, Ramchandran Yellappa, accused of raping a foreign national in Canacona in December 2018, escaped from the Colvale prison, and till now, he hasn’t been traced by the state’s police. 

This begs the question as to whether the premises, including the guards on duty, are so lethargic at carrying out their duties, that a prisoner was able to escape under the eyes of several watches across the premises. 

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The missing prisoner whereabouts are still now known; however, it is also learned that CCTV footage showed that the prisoner did not escape from the prison through the main gate. 

Reportedly, it is being considered that he could be hiding within the complex or must have somehow scaled the high walls that surround the jail complex. 

Either case is true, the fact that the accused managed to escape prison guards highlights the deplorable condition of our state’s premier jail facilities. 

Also, it is learned that the CCTV cameras failed to capture footages in the dark, thereby lending authorities clueless about his escape. 

Furthermore, this is not the first time that the accused escaped from custody. In June last year, as he was being produced in court, he made an escape through the glass panels of the toilet inside the court complex, only to be arrested again. 

As such, he has two cases against him; one being the rape of the foreign national, and the other, escaping from custody. 

Colvale jail authorities have now decided to step up their security measures, after a much-prolonged delay in a much-needed situation. Inspector General of Prisons, Gurudas Pilarnkar was quoted saying that three jail officials will be suspended today (Thursday) for the incident. 

Apparently, a jail staffer assigned mess duty to the prisoner, Ramchandran Yellappa, without consultation of the seniors, and on the pretext of going to the mess dispensary that morning, Yellappa escaped. 

Possibilities of increasing prison security measures are being looked at; however, this comes as a very late measure. Interestingly, another inmate, an undertrial, Hemraj Bharadwaj, who is facing trial in a narcotics case fled from the prison last month, and to date, the authorities have been unsuccessful at nabbing the accused. 

All this only puts the condition of Goa’s only prison in a very sorry state, as not just serious lapses, but also gross mismanagement in the administration is highlighted through these ‘unfortunate’ incidents. Last week, a jail guard was found smuggling ‘ganja’ within his footwear. 

The Goa Prison department needs to seriously ramp up security as well as seriousness in its administration at the prison if all need to be function well in Goa’s Modern central jail. 

Image Credits : JoeGoaUk

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