Naxal Prisoners Explode Bombs in Prison Van in a Failed Escape Bid

Police inspect the prison bus involved in today's failed escape bid by two prisoners.

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Patna: Inspired by too many Bollywood crime dramas, convicted criminals with allegiance to the Naxal outfit known as People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI) tried to bomb their way to freedom by detonating explosives inside a prison that was transporting them from a court to the Beur Jail in Patna on Tuesday afternoon.

As reported, two inmates currently lodged in the Beur Jail were produced before a judge in a Patna City court. They were identified as PLFI members Sonu and Sikandar.

While being transported back to the Beur Jail, the two Naxals lobbed crude bombs inside the van in the hope of forcing the van driver to stop the vehicle so they could make a dash for their freedom. They also fired shots through the window at the security vehicle following the prison van though no one was hurt in the shooting.

According to the police, some supporters of Sonu and Sikandar had been following the prison from the courthouse. They also opened fire at the security guards who responded by returning fire on the accomplices forcing them to retreat and leave.

With nearly 40 inmates in the van and despite the inside of the vehicle filled with smoke, the driver of the van continued to drive until the vehicle reached the prison where the inmates were taken out amid heavily-armed security guards.

Police found two more bombs and the pistol that was used in the getaway plan.

The incident occurred in Dashratha area near Lara Petrol Pump under Beur police station.

Patna SSP Manu Maharaj arrives at the Beur Jail on Tuesday.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Manu Maharaj, after taking stock of the situation, praised the policemen who, in the face of imminent danger, showed great courage and not only fought back with Sonu and Sikandar's associates but also made sure no inmate was able to escape during the chaos that ensued after bomb explosions.

Some inmates were treated for minor smoke inhalation but no one was said to be seriously hurt in today's incident, he said.

The SSP said that the criminals' accomplices provided bombs and pistols to them when they were being brought out of the Patna City court.

"We have identified those who had given bombs and a pistol to Sonu and Sikandar and will be arresting them soon," he said.

Meanwhile, authorities at the Beur Jail had launched a massive shakedown of the prison cells to search for banned items. Prisoners were also being questioned to find out if they knew anything about today's attempt to escape from the prison van.

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