Udaipur/Vadodara: Sylvester, a key witness
in the Soharabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, made a
dramatic escape from Gujarat Police custody but was rearrested
late Saturday night.
Sylvester, who fled after being produced in a court in
Udaipur, was picked up by a Special Task Force of Rajasthan
police from Gopalpura area in Udaipur near the Vrindavan
Garden at around 2230 hours.
"Acting on a tip-off, the special team arrested him", IG,
Udaipur, Govind Gupta, said.
A loaded pistol was seized from Sylvester, Anil Deval,
STF officer who arrested him, told agency.
Vadodara Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said Sylvester
was arrested as he tried to enter his house in Udaipur which
had been cordoned off.
There were different versions of how Sylvester, an
alleged accomplice of Sheikh, managed to escape. While the
Rajasthan Police claimed that he gave the slip on the pretext
of going to the toilet, the Gujarat Police said he fled when
they stopped for tea near the highway last night.
Sylvester, alias Dipu, was an important witness for CBI
which is probing the Soharabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
He was brought to Udaipur in connection with the murder of
another alleged gangster Hamid Lala.
CBI has sought a detailed report from the Gujarat Police
on the incident, agency sources said in Ahmedabad.
Sylvester escaped when the police vehicle in which he was
being taken back to Gujarat broke down near Reti stand in
Udaipur last night, Gupta said.
"The accused Sylvester, alias Dipu, was produced in a
local court by a team of Gujarat Police and was being taken
back to Gujarat when he managed to escape from their custody,"
On the pretext of going to the toilet, he managed to
escape from the scene, Gupta said.
However, Gujarat police claimed Sylvester escaped when
the police party stopped on the highway for tea.
A complaint in this regard has been registered in
Udaipur, he said.
Sylvester, who was lodged in Vadodara jail, was an
accused in a ransom case.
Sheikh was killed in an alleged fake encounter on November
26, 2005. 14 policemen including three IPS officers are behind
bars in the encounter case.
CBI believes Sylvester could be holding some important
leads in connection with the Soharabbudin fake encounter and
the subsequent murder of his wife Kausar Bi.