Seven under-trial inmates managed to break out of a jail in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, after attacking and injuring guards with no other weapon but just chilli powder and salt.
Officials said the inmates attacked the eyes of the guards with the chilli powder and salt they had been stashing away in the cell for days, preparing for a breakout.
The incident took place in Pasighat jail in the East Siang district of Arunachal on Sunday evening, when the cells were opened for serving dinner. The seven inmates, all housed in the same cell, attacked the personnel manning the jail.
“Seven of the prisoners suddenly attacked the guards by throwing chilli and pepper powder and salt in their eyes,” Inspector General of Police (Law & Order) Chukhu Apa told Indian news agency PTI.
Five guards have suffered injuries in the attack, while one of them endured a head injury, possibly hit with a lock used for the cell, the news agency reported quoting officials.
“The prisoners also snatched away his [one guard’s] mobile phone before escaping,” Mr Apa said.
While the injured police officers haven’t been identified, the police revealed the following names of the inmates who escaped: Abhijit Gogoi, Taro Hamam, Kalom Apang, Talum Panying, Subash Mondal, Raja Tayeng, and Dani Gamlina.
The police say a complaint has been lodged and authorities are on the hunt for the escaped inmates. Several exit points of the city have been sealed.
“We should be able to round them up soon,” the official said.
“The fugitives are likely to be re-arrested soon as it is difficult for them to flee from the town because of the daily curfew from 3 pm to 5 am in view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation,” Pasighat Deputy Superintendent of Police Tapang Tatak was quoted by PTI as saying.