In a dare-devil act, serial rapist Jaishankar (38), who was recently sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in a rape and murder case, escaped from the Bangalore Central Prison early on Sunday.

A truck driver, Jaishankar, who hails from Salem, is facing charges in over two dozen criminal cases in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Jaishankar, considered to be a psychopath by the police, was housed in the tight security jail hospital cell, inside the prison.

Preliminary investigation suggested that he escaped by scaling the 30-ft-high wall of the prison using a bamboo pole and a bed-sheet. Also, Jaishankar had used a police uniform to make good his escape.

While the pole was found inside the wall, a torn bed-sheet was hooked to the outer side of the wall. “He must have jumped from at least 10 ft and hurt his leg. Bloodstains were found near the wall,” said a police official, suspecting that Jaishankar had got hurt while escaping.

“He is injured and we suspect that he is hiding in and around the area. A manhunt has been launched to track him down,” the police official said. On Saturday, Jaishankar was escorted to a court in Tumkur under tight security in connection with a case he was involved in and was brought back in the evening. He was locked up in the hospital cell, where he was being treated.

On Sunday morning, when the prison staff counted the inmates, they found Jaishankar missing. Immediately, an alert was sounded and a massive search launched.

The police said power supply had been disconnected to the electrified fence of the prison wall due to rain for the last two days. Jaishankar, who had apparently learnt about this, planned the escape, said a police official familiar with the findings of the preliminary inquiry.

Also, he had used a duplicate key to open one of the doors leading to the wall.

The Southeast division police will probe any involvement of the prison staff in the jailbreak.