The prison-break at the Special Sub Jail here on Sunday has prompted jail authorities to expedite a proposal to install an array of surveillance equipment, including security cameras and electronic perimeter fences linked to alarms, at important prisons in the district, chiefly the District Jail at the Central Prison complex, Poojappura.

Officials said three remand prisoners, detailed to duty in the prison's staff kitchen, had scaled the high wall of the sub jail complex because they “did not have anybody to bail them out.”

The jail-break occurred at 4.15 p.m. Jail wardens sounded an alert and arrested one of them, Achu alias Kunjumon, 24, from near the prison's wall at 4.20 p.m. He had sprained his ankle while descending the wall.

The second prisoner, Viswarajan, 24, who was in judicial custody in connection with the rape and murder of woman at Kayamkulam railway station in 2011, was found hiding in the toilet of a nearby house at around 5 p.m. He had sustained a leg fracture.

Both have been admitted to the prisoner's ward at the Medical College Hospital here. The third prisoner, Shaji, 30, was still at large.

Officials said Shaji had inspired the jail-break. They said he had promised the other two jobs and a safe haven in Tamil Nadu. The prison staff had deputed them for kitchen duty because of their “good conduct.”

State-wide alert

The prisoners had used a long pipe, which was left in the open by construction workers, to scale the wall. They were wearing ‘lungi' and shirt at the time.

Mohanan Nair, Circle Inspector, Museum, said the police had sounded a State-wide alert for Shaji. He said the prisoner could still be in the city. The police had stepped up vigil at railway stations and bus stands. Photographs of the escapee had been issued to various patrol groups.

‘Design flaws'

Prison officials said the newly constructed sub jail, which housed 200 remand prisoners, had several “design flaws.” For one, the surfaces of its relatively low walls, when compared to the multi-storied structure, were uneven and offered a “good grip” to those attempting to scale it.

The sub jail did not have a perimeter road. Prisons officials said they had to move the Public Works Department several times to rectify the “flaws” in the structure's design.

Keltron's Security and Surveillance group was slated to execute the modernisation project. The proposed surveillance system would help prison authorities protect the rights of young and new remand prisoners, who are often vulnerable to sexual abuse and wanton cruelty at the hands of senior prisoners.

It would help them detect and prevent jail-breaks and trafficking of narcotic substances.

They would also able to check corrupt practices, stop secret use of mobile phones by prisoners, and ensure discipline within the penal complexes.

Keywords: Central Prison