In a pre-dawn swoop on Friday, sleuths of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) netted Rajesh Khan, the fugitive accomplice of Sheikh Binod, from a hideout in South 24-Parganas. The police rounded up Khan from a one-storey house, giving him no chance to escape.
According to CID officials, Khan’s arrest followed a round-the-clock vigil for over five days in the Falta area. “We carried out extensive raids, based on specific information. And finally, Khan fell into our net,” said a CID officer.
With Khan’s arrest, the CID sleuths have managed to net five criminals, including Binod, who had scaled the wall of Dum Dum Central jail in September and fled. The only man still on the run is Baitha Keema, the Myanmarese drug-runner who was arrested from the house of former CBI joint director Upen Biswas.
On Thursday, the sleuths arrested Binod aides Shiv Kumar Rajak, who escaped from the jail, and Sheikh Jhontu from an eatery in South 24-Parganas.
The CID officials investigating the jailbreak received a specific tip-off that Khan had taken refuge somewhere in Falta. “Accordingly, a team of five officers were sent to camp there. They located the one-storey house in the Mamudpur area on Wednesday and came to know that Khan was staying there,” said an official. “But, we did not storm the house. Instead, we started zeroing in on Khan’s movements.”
The sleuths stormed Khan’s house early on Friday and cuffed him. “We did not bring him to Bhabani Bhavan. Instead, we decided to stay on in Falta and interrogate him,” said the official.
During the course of interrogation, the sleuths came to know that Keema and Khan had stayed together for a few days after the jailbreak. “Khan told us the Myanmarese had taken shelter in a trawler because he planned to escape down the river from Diamond Harbour or Namkhana,” said the official.
Accordingly, the investigating officials, along with Khan, rushed to Diamond Harbour and started checking out the trawlers. As the search yielded nothing, they proceeded to Namkhana. “But all our efforts proved futile. Keema was nowhere to be seen. Apparently, he had been alerted about the raid before our arrival. However, our officers are still camping in the area,” said a CID official.
Elaborating on Khan’s movements after escaping from jail, the CID said he had taken shelter in South 24-Parganas the day after he fled Dum Dum Central.
“He never left the district. Initially, he put up in the southern fringe areas and was in touch with Binod over phone. Immediately after Binod’s arrest, he decided to shift to a remote area, only to keep us in the dark,” said the official. “Accordingly, he rented a house in Falta and had been staying there for the past couple of weeks.”
The CID will produce Khan before the sub-divisional magistrate in Barrackpore on Saturday. “We are now focusing on Keema. The South 24-Parganas police and Coast Guard personnel have been sent a message to keep a close watch on all the fishing trawlers in their waters,” said the official.