In a major security breach at Tihar Jail, two undertrials scaled the wall of the ward they were lodged in and then dug a tunnel through the boundary wall to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in the country.

Tihar Jail. Reuters

Tihar Jail. Reuters

The two prisoners were in jail for burglary. One of them, Javed managed to escape while the other Faizan, was caught by jail officials.

The two convicts first climbed over the wall of Jail no 7, where they were lodged and then dug a tunnel under Jail No 8, which is also the boundary of the prison complex.

Tihar authorities realised something was amiss when the two absconders did not respond to roll call on Sunday. After raising an alarm, they stumbled upon the tunnel when they went looking for the inmates.

After efforts to catch Javed by prison authorities failed, they finally informed police late on Sunday night.

A case was registered at West Delhi’s Hari Nagar Police Station on Sunday night and several teams have been formed to nab the absconder.

Tihar jail which houses more than 12,000 prisoners, has a three-layer security, housing many ‘VIP inmates’, including former Delhi law minister Jitender Singh Tomar.

This incident comes weeks after the sensational New York state prison break, which caught the world’s attention.

Surprised and shocked as people may be, this is certainly not the first time India has experienced cases of prisoners escaping right under the nose of jail authorities.

The most sensational Tihar jail break:

If there were awards handed out for this sort of thing, then serial killer Charles Sobhraj would definitely get it for the most sensational Tihar jail break so far. Sobhraj who had been implicated in 20 murders in various countries, was arrested in 1975 in connection with the murder of a French tourist. Not one to let matters take their own course, Sobhraj ordered drug-laced sweets for the jail authorities in 1986 as a part of his birthday celebrations. When the security guards lost consciousness under the influence of drugs, all Sobhraj had to do was take the keys and walk away.

72 prisoners escape from Uttar Pradesh jail:

In 1998, about 72 prisoners, mostly inter-state dacoits escaped from the Nizamabad District jail allegedly taking advantage of the laxity of the jail staff.

Bettiah jail escape:

In 2002, eight prisoners, out of whom two were serving life-sentences escaped from Bihar’s Bettiah divisional jail by cutting the iron rods of the ventilator in the prison cell and then climbing over the jail’s wall. The eight prisoners were charged with rape, murder, abduction and other horrific cases.

The many escapes of 2004:

The year 2004 was a sour note for jail authorities with many instances of prisoners escaping successfully.

In January, the Burail jail break case made headlines, where three alleged assassins of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, escaped after digging a 94-foot long tunnel from their cell, turning their turbans as ropes and using their barbells into shovels.

Next, was Sher Singh Rana. Rana, who was convicted for killing dacoit-turned-parliamentarian Phoolan Devi escaped from Tihar jail with the help of an accomplice posing as a fake cop, who had forged documents, as well. His successful escape was particularly galling for jail authorities in the worst possible way as he coolly walked out of the front door.

Then there was the Bihar jailbreak case, where where eight prisoners, led by gangster Rajkishore Chaudhary escaped from the Chapra district jail after triggering three explosions in broad daylight.

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Tihar jail break: Two undertrials dig tunnel to flee, but they’re hardly the most daring