Shillong: Four jail-breakers were lynched by a mob in a forest area along the boundary of Thadmuthlong and Shangpung village on Sunday in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills district, a police official said.
The four were among the six jailbirds, who had escaped from the Jowai district jail and correctional home after overpowering four prison staff and an armed police constable on Saturday afternoon.
A video of the mob lynching has gone viral.
The escapees included two murder accused – I Love You Talang and Ramesh Dkhar, who was arrested recently on charges of kidnapping and murder of two taxi drivers last month in East Jaintia Hills district and West Jaintia Hills district.
A police official said the identities of the dead escapees were yet to be ascertained and their bodies had been taken to Lalong Civil Hospital for verification.
“We can share the names of the dead escapees only after the dead bodies have been identified,” Bikram D. Marak, the district police chief of West Jaintia Hills.
He said the search was still on to trace the other two escapees.
A villager said the incident occurred on Sunday afternoon when news spread that one of the escapees, identified as Ramesh Dkhar came to get food from a local shop in the area, following which the mob went on a hunt for the escapees, who were in the forest.
The mob finally thrashed the four to death despite a handful of police personnel who tried to stop the gathering from lynching them.
Besides Talang and Dkhar, four others, Marsanki Tariang (murder convict) Rikamenlang Lamare, Shidorki Dkhar, and Lodestar Tang escaped from Jowai jail on Saturday afternoon.
This is the second jailbreak incident in Jowai district jail after a murder convict, Shiningstar Pala escaped on June 22. Three days later, he was captured by the police with the help of his relatives.
Meanwhile, police have arrested five prison staff of the Jowai district prison and correctional home for the negligence of duty in the prison which led to the escape of six prisoners.
Preliminary investigation indicates that the arrested prison staff — Head Warder Rajesh Swer, Warder Pyndapbor Bamon, and Warder Chamilan Kynjing besides two temporary warders Damelahun Sunn and Alexius Iawram – conspired with the escapees.
“We are interrogating all the five prison staff to get to the bottom of Saturday’s jailbreak,” Marak said.