The Delhi police on Sunday announced a reward of Rs.50,000 on each of the three Pakistani fugitives who escaped from custody while being taken back to the Lampur detention centre from a hospital here on Friday.

Investigations in the case have been handed over to the Special Cell.

Taking a serious view of the lapse, the Union Home Ministry has sought a report from the Delhi police and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) on the incident. The Ministry has also asked for enhanced security at the detention centre as well as during transit of foreigners on the deportation list, sources said.

Even as several teams have been constituted and a hunt launched for the missing Pakistan nationals, mystery shrouds the inexplicable 13-hour delay in reporting the escape of the trio by the sub-inspector who was escorting them.

Having served their sentences, the three were awaiting deportation to Pakistan and had been kept at the Lampur detention centre in Outer Delhi.

According to the police, Sub-Inspector Dinamuni Singh of the Meghalaya police — who is presently with an Indian Reserved Battalion team posted at the Lampur centre and was accompanying the terrorists on Friday — reported the matter to the Special Branch and FRRO officials only around 4 a.m. on Saturday. The Special Branch subsequently informed the Kotwali police and a case under the Foreigners Act was registered.

Preliminary inquiries into the goof-up have revealed that after Abdul Razzaq (61), Rafaquat Ali (55) and Mohammed Sadiq (55) complained about an eye ailment, the sub-inspector took them to the Guru Nanak Eye Centre behind G.B. Pant Hospital in Central Delhi for a check-up. “He borrowed a car hired by a beggars’ home located adjacent to the centre to take them to the hospital,” a police officer said.

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