UP tops the list for most jailbreaks, reports Aditi Phadnis.
Jailbreaks are not new in India, but the model for preventing them has to be Tihar Jail in Delhi where till date, almost 50 years since it was set up, there have been only six escapes.
The first person to make an unauthorised exit from Tihar was an American smuggler, Daniel Walcott.
In 1965, he escaped from Tihar in a police vehicle, reached the Safdarjung airport hangar, boarded his impounded plane and flew out of the country before the jail authorities could react. This prompted the first security review of Tihar.
But the new arrangements proved no barrier for Charles Sobhraj, who escaped after drugging the security guards in March 1986. He had ordered sweets laced with 820 pills of a sedative. He simply took the keys from one of them and walked out of the prison posing as a policeman. He was arrested later.
To prevent unnecessary mingling of police with inmates, the Delhi armed police, which used to guard the prison, was replaced with special units from Tamil Nadu Police in order to create a language barrier between prisoners and the security men.
There were other attempts -- 20 years later, Phoolan Devi's killer Sher Singh Rana escaped from prison after getting his aide to pose as a cop in February 2004 -- there have been few jailbreaks as daring as the one from the Bhopal Central Jail by eight undertrials allegedly from the Students Islamic Movement of India.
Uttar Pradesh tops the charts for jailbreaks, though this could possibly be because UP also has the highest number of jails in India.
In response to a query filed under the Right to Information Act, the Uttar Pradesh prison department revealed 2,050 inmates have died in the state since 2010.