ITAHARI, Nov 28: Ali Asraf Ansari, the dreaded Bangladeshi criminal who masterminded the recent Jhumka jailbreak, has been arrested in Kolkata, Indian media reported on Wednesday.
According to the online edition of Times of India, Ansari, who was known as Subrat Bayen in India, was arrested from a hideout in Bowbazar of Kolkata.
KP Pachnanada, police commissioner of Kolkata, told the Times of India that a country-made gun, ammunition and fake Indian currency worth Rs 1.1 million were recovered from Ansari.
Ansari, who was facing a jail term on the charge of forging a Nepali citizenship certificate, had escaped from Jhumka prison house, along with 11 other inmates, by digging an 80-feet tunnel on November 9. Ansari, charged with murders and terror attacks, including on a political rally in Dhaka in 2004, was arrested in Nepal in 2009.
Ansari, wanted by the Interpol, had been running a furniture factory inside the eastern regional jail in Jhumka by bribing jailer Ram Prasad Upadhyay and inspector Ishwor Basnet.
On Tuesday, a probe committee formed by the Nepal police had revealed that Upadhyay and Basnet used to get Rs 21,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively every month from Ansari for turning a blind eye to his illegal activities. Ansari, aided by Dhirendra Yadav, a convicted Indian criminal, had dug the tunnel under the cover of factory.
After the Indian media reported about Ansari´s arrest, DIG Parshuram Shrestha, chief of the eastern regional police office, said that a police team would be sent to Kolkata to verify the news.
“Looking at Ansari´s photo published by the India media, the Jhumka jailbreak mastermind seems to have been arrested in Kolkata,” said Khatri. “But, we can be sure only after our team visits Kolkata.”
According to Khatri, a team comprising police officers from the headquarters and the regional office will visit Kolkata. Even if it is confirmed that the man arrested in Kolkata is indeed the Jhumka jailbreak mastermind, Ansari is unlikely to be brought to Nepal as he faces several criminal charges in India.
“The police can´t bring back Ansari on its own,” said SP Saurabh Rana, chief of District Police Office of Sunsari. “The government has to take an initiative to bring him back.”
Ansari´s arrest has been reported a day after a probe team led by SSP Ramesh Phuyal recommended 10-year jail term for assistant sub inspector Jit Bahadur KC and six-month jail term for 17 other policemen including inspector Basnet. The Phuyal-led committee has also recommended departmental actions against 21 policemen. The committee has stated that Ansari had escaped from the jail with help from the police.