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Gilgit Jail break

Digging through: Higher walls, closer scrutiny of staff recommended for Gilgit Jail

As Interim Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Sher Jehan Mir and other top officials visited the jail on Tuesday and examined the now patched up hole in the wall, little has been shared about how the prisoners managed to burrow their way through the library. However, a list of measures to be taken was made public after the visit.

Unlike Topalov, who was captured soon after, two of the four prisoners are still at large. Bilal, who was accused of being part of the Nanga Parbat attack, was shot during his attempted escape, and a man identified as Dilbar was injured and captured.

Fugitives Habibur Rehman and Liaquat face trial for respectively murdering 11 of a mountain climbing entourage and the investigators of the Nanga Parbat attack in Chilas. The two were cornered at a compound in Minawar on the same night by security forces who failed to capture them.

On Tuesday, Chief Secretary Sultan Sikandar Raja, IGP Zafar Iqbal Awan and home secretary Sibtain Ahmed, among others, accompanied Mir to inspect the 100-strong jail’s security, the CM Secretariat’s spokesperson Sajjadul Haq told The Express Tribune.

“The officials were briefed by the home secretary in detail about the jailbreak and measures taken thereafter,” said Haq. According to the spokesperson, in an on-the-spot briefing, the home secretary showed the path used by the militants to escape.

Investigators earlier said the militants had made a hole in the library wall before scaling the boundary wall from where they had jumped. The sound of their landing outside on the street was what alerted the security forces, who attempted to stem the escape.

The hole in the wall, which is wide enough to allow the girth of a man through, took the inmates directly to the jail boundary wall which was 14 feet tall. According to officials, the inmates used a ladder to escape.

However, no disclosure has been made so far about how the inmates managed to break through a solid wall, procure a ladder or plan the escape.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2015.


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