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Delhi police officials kept low profile in naxal-hit Bihar village to arrest one of Nirbhaya accused

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Arresting the accused in the Nirbhaya case was not easy for Delhi police investigators, who had to visit a naxal-affected village in Bihar and keep a low profile to nab one of them.

Akshay Kumar Singh, the cleaner of the bus in which the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gangraped, had left for his native village in Aurangabad district after committing the ghastly crime.

The police traced Singh through a mobile number Ram Singh, the driver of the bus and the first accused to be arrested in the 2012 case, shared with the investigators during interrogation.

Singh had used the phone number to speak to his family back home and it was registered with a service provider in Aurangabad, according to "Khaki Files", a book by former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar during whose tenure the crime happened.

This breakthrough led the police to believe Singh could be hiding in his village. Delhi police inspector Rituraj and his team rushed to Patna by flight and took the road from there to reach Aurangabad.

On December 19, 2012, three days after the gang rape, the Delhi police team contacted the Tandwa police station under whose jurisdiction Singh's village fell.

The Delhi police team then learnt that the village area was affected by Left-wing extremism and the team members were required to tread cautiously without drawing undue attention, Rituraj said.

"The police station in Tandwa had been attacked four times by naxals and was therefore heavily fortified with personnel from Bihar Military Police deployed on its rooftop, armed with light machine guns," according to the book.

Sub-inspector Ajay Kumar from the local police station joined the Delhi police team and they decided to quietly recce Singh's village. Local intelligence gathering suggested that Singh could have escaped to his in-laws' residence, also in a naxal-infested area.

Inspector Rituraj's team decided to wait and sought help from watchmen in Singh's village in nabbing him. Soon enough the wait paid off. One of the chowkidars spotted the accused at Tandwa railway station on December 21 and alerted the police who arrested Singh.

Rituraj contacted the district magistrate to obtain a transit remand and he introduced the Delhi police official to the district judge. The judge took Rituraj to his residence, called his staff and dictated the order.

It was 9 pm on December 21 when the police received the transit remand but Rituraj left for Varanasi the same night in dense fog and low visibility with the accused and his team.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 20 2020. 13:24 IST