‘It was difficult for them to recognise him as he shaved his beard’
Despite wide publicity on the serial rapist Jaishankar’s appearance after his daring escape from Bangalore Central Prison on Sunday last, residents of Kudlu village were unable to locate the fugitive in their midst.
Police said Jaishankar had taken shelter in the village right from the time he escaped. Also, he was moving around the village, shifting locations from a school to a temple and finally to a deserted shack on the banks of the Nagendra Reddy lake from where he was picked up.
Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar said the police had printed 10,000 posters and 75,000 pamphlets with information about Jaishankar for distribution among the general public. News about his escape along with his photographs had been printed in newspapers and aired on television channels.
“It was very difficult for people to recognise him, since he had shaved his beard and changed his clothes,” a police officer engaged in tracking down the fugitive said.
Meanwhile, a water tanker driver, identified as Vijay Kumar, claimed that Jaishankar had borrowed his mobile phone on Friday to call his friend, which helped the police to track him down.
According to him, Jaishankar met him near the lake in Kudlu village, where he had gone to fetch water. Jaishankar sought his help with a concocted story stating that he is a bus driver from Tamil Nadu, who was involved in an accident and ran away to escape from the police.
He asked Vijay Kumar to lend his phone to make a call his friend to bail him out.
Hearing his story, Vijay Kumar gave his phone. The friend turned out to be a former convict of Parappana Agrahara jail who used to come to meet Jaishankar regularly.
The police, who had a hunch about the possibility of Jaishankar calling his friends and associates, were tracking their phones.
Soon after one of Jaishankar’s friend received the call, the police traced the location and called back Vijay Kumar to tell him that they are friends of Jaishankar and were coming to help him.
Soon, a police team reached the spot and nabbed Jaishankar, who was hiding in a shack near the lake, which was used by fishermen to take rest.
Residents villagers of Kudlu were shell shocked when the news soon spread like wildfire that the stranger who was living in their area for the past five days was none other than Jaishankar.
“We used to see him moving around here and there, but we never imagined that he is a dreaded criminal. Thank God, he was injured and police managed to catch him soon. Otherwise anything could have happened to us,” a resident said.
Even Vijay Kumar told the police that he had no idea that he lent his phone to the fugitive.