Jailbird takes 'Parole' route to escape

Houdini act


Nagaraj alias Naga (40) took advantage of a film shoot within the prison complex to make good his escape. He mingled discreetly with the film crew, four of whom were his namesake, and stealthily made his way out of the Parappana Agrahara Central Jail on Monday evening. A resident of Kumbarbeedi in Hesaraghatta, Nagaraj was jailed on a charge of arson which he allegedly committed in July first week.

The prison authorities have not been able to confirm whether Nagaraj ever nursed the idea of escape since he landed in jail. By most accounts it seems he thought up the jail-break on Monday when a crew arrived to shoot for Parole, a Kannada movie, within the prison complex.

Around 90 people, along with their equipment, reached the jail in four vehicles. They had sought prior permission to take several shots at different locations inside the sprawling jail complex. A reconstruction of the events prior to Nagaraj’s simple, but effective, jail-break revealed that he was watching the shoot with enthusiasm and interest.

Along with a few other undertrials, Nagaraj moved from  one location to another  to watch the shoot. Towards the evening, when the shoot site shifted to a space between the jail’s main gate and a hospital outside, Nagaraj entered the hospital unnoticed. The other undertrials had no clue when Nagaraj had quietly slipped out. Prison officials said Nagaraj could slip out unnoticed since he was not wearing the standard prison uniform.

In the evening, the jail guards called out the names of each of the crew members when they were about to leave. Four of the crew called out their names and alongwith them, Nagaraj also left the premises. The confused guard had no inkling that the jailbird had already managed to give him the slip.

Once out, Nagaraj did not board any of the four buses the film crew had brought along, but coolly walked out into the city, Jail Superintendent Vishwanathaiah said.
The escape did not come to light until the late night roll call of all prisoners, including undertrials. The jail authorities desperately called up the head of the film unit to verify if he or any of his colleagues had noticed Nagaraj leaving the prison premises. While Nagaraj is yet to be traced, the state prisons establishment has initiated disciplinary proceedings against jailer Asha Khan. Nagaraj is not out on ‘parole.’ He may well not be traced.

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