TAMIL NADU

Police hopeful of nabbing Faluludden

CHENNAI FEB. 15. The State Police are hopeful of nabbing soon M. S. Faluludden alias Mohammed Siddick, a Sri Lankan National and NDPS Act convict who escaped from the Salem Government Hospital on February 10.

Vital clues to the persons who helped him escape and make a quick getaway have been obtained, a senior police officer told The Hindu. About half-a-dozen police teams fanned out on the trail of the escapee and those who helped him. A Pondicherry industrialist, who had allegedly spoken to Faluludden and his associates, was questioned. The brand name of the car in which Faluludden escaped was known but not its colour. The prisoner was not handcuffed as he was a patient and was taking treatment in hospital.

The dramatic escape from the strongroom of the hospital created a sensation because of his possible links, but the police refuted the reports that those who helped him had contacts with extremists.

A senior officer of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which successfully prosecuted the islander, said Faluludden was arrested by the Central agency at midnight on the night of March 21 last from a house on Medavakkam Tank Road, Kellys, here. A search of the premises yielded 4.06 kg of brown sugar, kept in rexin bags and a tool for packing the material. A sum of Rs. 2 lakhs in cash was also seized. Along with Faluludden, A. C. M. Fazli, also a Sri Lankan national, and Akbar Ali, were arrested. The three were sentenced to 12-year rigorous imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs.1 lakh. They were lodged in the Vellore Central Prison, from where Faluludden was shifted to the Salem jail.

The Narcotics Intelligence Bureau CID of the State police is assisting the Salem police, in catching the prisoner. For its part, the NCB provides information it has about Faluludden to the State police when it is sought.

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