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Phoolan murder accused held again

Staff Reporter

Sher Singh Rana says he visited Afghanistan to trace the grave of Prithviraj Chauhan


  • Delhi police sleuths overpowered him in a public booth
  • Rana visited Afghanistan to trace grave of Prithviraj Chauhan
  • He often visited Kolkata to get his visa validity extended

    — Photo: SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

    ARRESTED FINALLY: Pankaj Singh alias Sher Singh Rana (centre), prime accused in the Phoolan Devi murder case, being brought to the Delhi Police Special Cell on Tuesday.

    NEW DELHI: The prime accused in the Phoolan Devi murder case, Sher Singh Rana, who scripted a daring escape from the heavily-guarded Tihar Jail here two years ago, was arrested by a Special Cell of the Delhi police at Dharamtalla in Kolkata on Monday.

    At a press conference here on Tuesday, Delhi Police Commissioner K. K. Paul said the Special Cell sent a team to Kolkata following a tip that Rana had been spotted several times in Dharamtalla.

    Flown to Delhi

    The police recovered from his hotel room, a passport bearing his photograph but issued in the name of Sanjay Gupta and a satellite phone he had bought from Dhaka in Bangladesh. He was flown to Delhi around midnight.

    During interrogation, Rana reportedly said that after escaping from the jail on February 17, 2004 with the help of a friend Sandeep — who in the guise of a police man, pretended to take Rana to a Hardwar court— he went to Moradabad and checked into a hotel. He then contacted relatives who sent him Rs. 1 lakh through Sandeep. From Ranchi he applied for a passport in the name of Sanjay Gupta.

    During the two-month wait for the passport, he visited Gaya and Benaras, where he met his "financer" Subhash Thakur, who was then lodged in a local jail. Rana then went to Kolkata, where he obtained a three-month Bangladesh visa.

    False identity

    Rana claimed that he took a house for rent at Khulna and lived there, posing as Sanjay. Later, he took a flight from Dhaka to Dubai, from where he proceeded to Kabul. He reportedly visited Afghanistan to trace the grave of the great warrior, Prithviraj Chauhan, and bring back his mortal remains to India.

    Rana then went to Kandahar, Herat and Gazni. He claimed that he found the grave, dug it up in the dark, packed some of the exhumed material in a bag and couriered it to a contact in Uttar Pradesh. Rana then returned to Dhaka via Dubai.

    He visited Kolkata often to get his visa extended. At times, he did this in Dhaka. "We have already arrested five persons — Sandeep, Vikram Rana, Sunil, Shravan and Subhash Thakur — who helped Rana escape from prison and evade detection," Mr. Paul said.

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