Delhi police asked to explain terrorists' escape

Delhi police asked to explain terrorists' escape


While Delhi Police announced a reward of Rs.50,000 on clues leading to the arrest of the three terrorists and put out their photographs for public display, the home ministry sought from the city police a report on the escape as soon as possible.

Delhi Lt-Governor Tejinder Khanna also ordered a magisterial inquiry into the sensational escape of the three terrorists.

The three terrorists - Abdul Razzak, 61, Rafaket Ali, 55, and Mohammad Saddique, 55 - managed to escape Friday hoodwinking a sub-inspector of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) who was escorting them.

The three were taken to the Guru Nanak Eye Centre of G.B. Pant Hospital for an eye check-up. They reportedly went for lunch in the cycle market at Jama Masjid in old Delhi around 2.30 p.m., but did not return.

Delhi police said they were not informed about the visit.
"The terrorists escaped from the hospital Friday but local police were informed about it only on Saturday. Important time to take action was already lost. We were not even informed about their visit to the hospital," a senior police officer told IANS.
"Moreover, there was only one sub-inspector who accompanied the trio to the hospital," the officer said.

Asked why only one police officer was with the terrorists, the officer said: "That is something which needs to be investigated. We don't know about that as yet".
Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta said a magisterial inquiry has been ordered by the lt-governor into the escape of three Pakistani terrorists Saturday, according to an official statement here.

Mehta said the inquiry would be held by the deputy commissioner of northwest district.
"Deputy Commissioner, northwest district, D.P. Dwivedi has been asked to submit his report in a week's time. He has been directed to go into all circumstances, including their visit to a city government hospital, and any lapse in the security which led to their escape," he added.

"The inquiry would suggest measures to curb recurrence of such incidents. The lt-governor has asked Delhi Police to go all-out to nab the escaped terrorists."
Delhi Police have asked the anti-terrorism wing - Special Cell -- to trace the terrorists. "Any clue pertaining to their location can be given to the ACP (assistant commissioner of police) Special Cell," a police official said.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised questions on the escape, saying that the circumstances were "highly suspicious".

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters he was "curious that all the three had the same eye problem and were taken to the same hospital."

He said the circumstances were "highly suspicious" and "raised legitimate questions".
The militants were part of a module of eight trained terrorists arrested by Delhi Police in 2000 before the Red Fort attack case with a huge cache of explosives and narcotics. They were sentenced and had completed their five-year jail terms Oct 23 last year.
After their release from Tihar, they were lodged at a detention home in Narela under the supervisory custody of Delhi Police's Special Branch. They were to be deported to Pakistan soon.

An alert was sounded all over the national capital and the neighbouring states to trace them.

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