Updated: April 13, 2021 6:02:13 am
Two days after dreaded gangster Sheikh Hyderescaped from police custody while undergoing treatment at a Cuttack hospital, Odisha Police on Monday questioned his close associate who had delivered biryani on the day of the escape.
Yakub Khan alias Sallu came forward and produced himself before the police and has agreed to cooperate in the investigation, officials said.
On March 24, Hyder, serving a life sentence in two separate cases, was admitted to a private cabin at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack for treatment of kidney-related ailments.
According to senior police officials, jail authorities in Sambalpur had coordinated his admission with the hospital after he was referred from VIMSAR hospital in Sambalpur to SCB Hospital, and six constables attached with the Sambalpur district police were responsible for his security.
On Saturday, Hyder managed to escape from the hospital shortly after Khan had delivered biryani to him. His absence was first noticed by a staff nurse at SCB, who informed higher authorities. The nurse also found that the constable guarding Hyder was unconscious.
It is suspected that the gangster had laced the biryani with sedatives and then offered it to the constable before fleeing.
On Monday, a senior police officer said, “Khan is an aide of Hyder and has been accused in minor crimes earlier. We are questioning him to understand if Hyder had been in touch with any other of his associates. We are probing the role of his acquaintances in the case. We are also investigating how Hyder managed to spike the food which he also offered to the constable guarding him.”
Meanwhile, Khan told the media, “I supplied Hyder with biryani on three different occasions while he was admitted in the hospital. But I was unaware that he was planning to escape from custody. I had not added any sedatives before supplying the biryani.”
Earlier on Sunday, the Odisha Police launched a massive manhunt for Hyder and suspended the six constables who were responsible for his security.
Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissioner S K Priyadarshi said, “We have activated multiple teams who have spread across the state to locate him. Our primary objective is to trace him down first. He had been in jail for the last 16 years and it is not easy to continue to have the influence that he had earlier. His tentacles are not as strong as they might have been earlier and we are positive to nab him soon.”
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