Unprecedented security has been deployed at Patna’s famous Beur Jail since late Wednesday night after the Intelligence Bureau (IB) alerted the Bihar police about a possible jailbreak attempt by Maoists and terrorists, much like the 2005 Jehanabad jail break incident.
Police said at least 80 jawans of Bihar Military Police (BMP) and other personnel have additionally been deployed at the jail.
Senior police officers are camping in the jail and carrying out search operations. Director general of police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey and home secretary Amir Subhani also visited the jail and supervised the security arrangements.
In November 2005, hundreds of Maoists had stormed the Jehanabad jail and freed several of their top leaders. In all, 341 prisoners fled in that incident.
The Beur jail houses several Maoist leaders, hardened criminals and at least a dozen terrorists associated with banned outfits like Indian Mujahideen (IM), Laskar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
Officials said the search operations led to recovery of several cell phones and few other items not permitted inside the jail.
As per the IB alert, the accused in the Bodh Gaya and Gandhi Maidan terror blasts, along with other criminals lodged inside the jail, had planned to carry out a repeat of the Jehanabad incident or a major blast.
After inspecting the jail, the DGP instructed officials to intensify patrolling in the area. “We raided several wards and recovered some cell phones. We are alert and ready to tackle any eventuality,” he said.
DIG (central range, Patna), Rajesh Kumar, however, preferred to downplay the jailbreak threat. “We are carrying out routine raids and reviewing the security in the wake of attack on a constable at Danapur court by an undertrial prisoner recently. The objective to prevent repeat of such incidents,” he said.
Jail officials said that the accused in Bodh Gaya and Gandhi Maidan blasts lodged inside Beur jail had in October 2017 clashed with the jail security personnel and also raised anti-national slogans. Among other things, they had decried the quality of food served to them. Since then, they have been confined to their cells and not allowed to meet with others.