A man, accused of stealing rifles and ammunition from an army institute in Madhya Pradesh, tricked police guards by making an excuse of going to the washroom and escaped from a Punjab hospital by scaling its wall early on Tuesday, officials said. Harpreet Singh (25), a "military deserter", was undergoing treatment at the Hoshiarpur civil hospital for a hand injury since December 31, they said. "He hoodwinked our policemen by making an excuse of going to the washroom," Hoshiarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Guarav Garg told PTI over phone, asserting that he will be caught soon.
Singh tricked at least four police personnel guarding him and then climbed the wall of the hospital at around 4:30 am to escape, the officials said, adding that he was lodged at a jail in Hoshirapur district.
He is facing charges for stealing two INSAS rifles and ammunition from the army's training institute in Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh, they said.
Singh, who was a sepoy in the Indian Army, was arrested from Chotala village near Tanda in Punjab's Hoshiarpur district, in December. He was declared a "military deserter" in October last year.
Singh's three accomplices were also arrested at that time. Posing as army officers, the accused had stolen the rifles and ammunition in the early hours of December 6.
The stolen arms and ammunition were recovered.
He is facing charges under sections of 380 (theft), 399 (making preparation to commit dacoity) and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act, police had then said.