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Phoolan killer arrested after more than 2 years of escape from Tihar

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 25 (UNI) Bringing to close more than two years of chase, Delhi Police have arrested Sher Singh Rana, prime accused in the sensational killing of 'bandit queen' turned parliamentarian Phoolan Devi, from Dharamtalla area in Kolkata.

Rana, who carried a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head, was brought to Delhi at about 0045 hrs today by a flight following his arrest from a PCO in Kolktata last evening, Police Commissioner K K Paul told mediapersons here.

''The arrest, made after two years, two months and seven days, after Rana made the dramatic escape from the high security Tihar Jail here, was made by the sleuths of the Special Cell in association with the Uttaranchal Police,'' he said.

As per information gathered by the 15-member Special Cell team, stationed there for quite some time, he was planning to deal in coal business in Dhanbad for which he had come to Kolkata from Khulna (West Bengal).

''Later, on specific information, another 8-member team was sent yesterday to assist in the operation. Rana was caught at about 1930 hrs while he was waiting at a PCO close to his place of stay at Hotel Blue Moon. He was immediately brought to Delhi by a flight.'' A satellite phone and a passport, bearing his photograph but in the name of Sanjay Gupta, were recovered from his possession, he said.

The surprising thing is that Rana was staying in the hotel under the name of Delhi ACP Joy Tirkey of the Crime Branch, to whom he was handed over after his arrest on July 27, 2001 -- two days after he allegedly killed Phoolan Devi at her Ashoka Road offcial residence (on July 25), the Commissioner informed.

''He later escaped from Tihar on February 17, 2004 after one Sandeep, posing as a police Constable, took him along. Sandeep, along with four others, was later arrested.'' After his escape from Tihar, Rana went to Moradabad and then to Ranchi from where he obtained a passport in the name of Sanjay Gupta. From there he went to Kolkata and then to Khulna before leaving for Dubai, the Commissioner said.

''While on the run he also visited Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Ghazni in Afghanistan where he said he wanted to get the relic of Rajput King Prithviraj Chauhan.'' He was being financially aided by another criminal Mahesh Rai alias Subhash Thakur, whom he met in Tihar and who had underworld links, the CP said.

Even before committing the MP's murder, Rana had 6-7 cases against him including one of dacoity-cum-murder in Dehradun where he looted a bank and killed its guard, Mr Paul added.


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