Jaishankar (33), arrested for a series of rape and murder, and who escaped from police custody on March 18, was nabbed at Bijapur in Karnataka on Wednesday night.

He was caught by the public when he tried to molest a young girl there. From March 18 till date, Jaishankar committed a series of crimes in Karnataka.

A woman police constable, Jayamani, who was going for bandobust duty in connection with a VVIP visit in Salem, was abducted and murdered on August 23, 2009. The Tirupur police arrested Jaishankar of Edappadi in Salem District on October 19, 2009.

During interrogation, the police realised the magnitude of the crimes committed by the former mini-bus and truck driver, who had taken to rape, robbery and murder along highways. The police found the involvement of Jaishankar in eight cases of rape, three cases of murder, four cases of attempt to murder and one case of causing grievous hurt.

Jaishankar was being escorted by two Armed Reserve constables on March 17 for being produced before various courts. Jaishankar, who was being brought to Coimbatore Central Prison, insisted that he would travel only by super deluxe bus on the night of March 18 from Salem. When one of the constables went in search of a super deluxe bus, he gave the slip.

On March 19 morning, the escort constable M. Chinnasamy who came from Salem by bus, shot himself to death after alighting from the vehicle near the Police Recruit School grounds in Coimbatore fearing departmental action for the escape of the notorious criminal.

The special teams formed were closely tracking the accused. He committed eight murders of which five were rape and murder, and five cases were registered in this connection in two districts of Karnataka. All the crimes had taken place on farms along highways.

The teams tracked the phone calls made by Jaishankar to his family members in Salem and searched for him in Chitradurga, Tumkur, Bellary, New Delhi and Mumbai. The accused used to speak to the family members regularly.

Jaishankar had stopped using a mobile phone after the police zeroed in on him by tracking his calls in the Perumanallur woman police constable rape and murder case. He usually travelled by lorries and often took up part-time jobs as driver or cleaner, police said.

On Wednesday night around 10 p.m., Jaishankar attempted to molest a young girl in Bijapur, who raised an alarm and escaped. The people who gathered were threatened by Jaishankar with a sharp weapon. The public threw stones, overpowered and handed him over to the police.

Escort constable Rajavelu, who was part of the special team, identified the accused. Initially, Jaishankar is said to have posed as a police constable but finally confessed his identity.

Coimbatore City Police Commissioner C. Sylendra Babu said that Jaishankar's crimes were largely committed outside Coimbatore city and all the cases were under trial before various courts. The only recent case in Tamil Nadu was his escape from Salem. Since Karnataka police require his custody to probe five cases (eight murders and five rapes), he will be in judicial and police custody in Karnataka. Tamil Nadu police will seek his custody later.

Keywords: murder case