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Updated: June 20, 2013 11:07 IST

‘Ripper’ duplicated keys of maximum security cell

G. Anand
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'Ripper' Jayanandan.
The Hindu
'Ripper' Jayanandan.

Jailors elevated Jayanandan to the status of "Meshari," prison phraseology for a convict who is put in charge of other prisoners.

“Ripper” Jayanandan, the death row convict who broke out of the Central Prison here on June 10, had duplicated the key of his maximum security cell to facilitate his escape, according to police investigators.

However, the duplicate was a poorly forged one. Jayanandan had opened the padlock of the iron-barred door of his cell with it once, but found he could not close it.

He abandoned the plan and used a hacksaw blade to cut through the “dead latch” of the padlocked and iron-barred cell door to make good his escape along with his cell mate, “Oopa” Prakash.

The police learned about this, and much more, when they arrested Prakash from his village in Kollam on Tuesday. How the Ripper managed to duplicate the key of his cell has provided the police an insight into the 125-year-old prison’s daily administration.

The court had ruled out any parole or leniency to the convict, who has been, so far, charged with eight murders, all for gain, and 14 armed robberies.

However, jailors elevated him to the status of “Meshari,” prison phraseology for a convict who is put in charge of other prisoners. Jayanandan had succeeded one Lucos, who was on parole.

His duties included taking the head-count of prisoners before lock-up at 5.45 p.m. Hence, he had unquestioned access to cell keys.

He made a “soap impression” of the key and possibly handed over that to his relatives who visited him at the prison.

The “Ripper” secured the hacksaw from certain prisoners detailed to electrical maintenance wing. He used soap, covered with a layer of soot, to mask the cut he made on the “dead latch” of the door on weekends, when music was played loudly inside the jail.

Assistant Commissioner, Crime Detachment, K.E. Baiju, Circle Inspector K. Pramod and Sub Inspector C. Mohanan were heading the investigation.

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