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Spiderman back in cop web

Gangtok, Oct. 13: Three days after he gave police the slip, Sikkimís most wanted criminal Rakesh Rai, aka Spiderman, has once again been re-arrested.

Rai was arrested last night from Kamzer village near Pulbazaar, close to Kamzer bustee on the other side of the Bengal-South Sikkim border. The area falls in the vicinity of Gok forest.

Acting on a tip-off, a joint operation by the South and West district police tracked Rai to his hideout, where he had been staying since his escape from the undertrial cell of the Namchi district court on October 10. He was to be produced in the court to stand trial over a case of double murder and had pulled down a ventilator of the cell to escape.

Two policemen who had been given the task of watching over Rai were suspended during the inquiry that followed.

This is the third time that Rai has fled from detainment and been re-arrested. He had even escaped from the state jail at Rongyek in Gangtok in September 2004. On that same night, he had cleaned up a house in Ranipul, taking with him a laptop, cellphones and a Maruti van which he later abandoned. He was re-arrested a week later while trying to enter the malkhana of the district court at Namchi to destroy evidence against him.

Police had also foiled an unsuccessful escape bid in July last year.

Spiderman was arrested around midnight yesterday but not before he gave a fight. Two sub-inspectors and three constables sustained minor injuries as Rai slashed at them with his khukuri while they tried to pin him down.

A massive manhunt had been launched by the South and West district police since Raiís escape. They were told by a source that Spiderman was taking refuge in the house of one Pemba Tamang, who is possibly and old acquaintance of his.

Superintendent of police (South) Mrinalini Shrivastav told The Telegraph that after they were tipped off, two teams were formed: one raided the house, while the other cordoned off the area to block possible escape routes.

After his arrest, Rai was brought to the Jorethang police station in the early hours of today. It has been learnt that Spiderman had crossed the Rambang river over the suspension bridge to enter Gok forests in Bengal.

Apart from the double murder, Rai is accused of numerous thefts.

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