The escape of serial rapist and murderer Jai Shankar from the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison has struck fear in the hearts of a group of villagers in Elagi in north Karnatakas Bijapur district. Reason? They were instrumental in his arrest the previous time he escaped from prison in 2011.
Prakash Hotgi and his fellow villagers who helped arrest Shankar in 2011 and received a reward of Rs one lakh for their effort have sought police protection following Shankars escape from the high-security jail Saturday,a police police officer in Zalki said.
The police said Hotgi and others had caught Jai Shankar after they became suspicious of him. The Zalki police later found out he was a psychopathic killer who had raped and murdered many women.
On the day he was nabbed,Shankar had escaped from Salem while being taken to a Coimbatore jail and reached Elagi,located near a highway,hitching rides on trucks and stealing a two-wheeler.
He came to the village and found a woman working alone in a field. He introduced himself as policeman and told her he had come to look for two criminals and sought her help in finding them.
The woman,however,managed to keep a safe distance from Shankar and reached another farm where other women were working,the police said. At that moment,Hotgi came to the farm and the woman complained that they were being harassed by the stranger. Hotgi started to interrogate Shankar. And when he asked for any identity to prove he was a policeman,Shankar tried to flee the spot.
The villagers tried to chase him but he pulled out a machete from his bag and threatened them. He also claimed to have a gun. Some of the villagers managed to pass on the information about him to the police,who rushed to the spot and arrested Shankar.
The police had announced a Rs 1 lakh reward for any leads on Jai Shankar. So,five members of the village got the reward following the arrest in 2011. But now the villagers are afraid he may return to take revenge. Many villagers came to the police station Sunday night after they watched the news about his escape from jail. We are providing protection to them by increasing patrolling in the village, said Kumar Hittalamani,a sub inspector at Zalki police station. We also held a meeting Monday morning to encourage them to be brave.