M A I N   N E W S

Cops escorting witness were too drunk to act

Ahmedabad/Udaipur, Oct 9
Five Gujarat policemen escorting a key witness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case have been arrested in connection with his escape and it has emerged they allegedly had liquor with him before he fled.

The police said today that in another act of carelessness, the escort team allowed Sylvester to visit his house in Udaipur on his request instead of bringing him back to Gujarat after a court hearing.

The arrested policemen, however, were released on bail, police said, adding they have been suspended.

The five were arrested for the escape of Sylvester, a close aide of Sohrabuddin and a key witness in his fake encounter case being probed by the CBI. Sylvester, who was lodged in Vadodara jail, escaped from police custody in Udaipur where he had been taken for a court hearing yesterday. He was caught late in the evening by the Rajasthan Police.

"After the arrest of Sylvester, it has been established that the Gujarat Police team had taken the accused to his house in Bhopalpura (Rajasthan) after producing him in a court on Friday," a senior Rajasthan Police officer said.

"There was certainly carelessness on part of the Gujarat Police, which instead of going back to Gujarat, took Sylvester to his house on the request of the accused. He wanted to meet his family members and managed to flee from there. Sylvester was rearrested late yesterday night from the same locality," Additional SP Udaipur (City) Tejraj Singh said.

"Gujarat Police's sub-inspector M Guhil, head constable Ambalal, constables Vijay Babu and Ranchod Bhai and driver Gopal Singh were arrested in this connection and released on bail today," he said.

Meanwhile, Gujarat DGP Chittranjan Singh confirmed that the arrested policemen had also been suspended.

"We learnt that the escort personnel had accompanied Sylvester to his house (in Udaipur). They had also got drunk at a hotel and were not in the state to do anything," Singh said addressing a joint press conference with Vadodra Police commissioner Satish Sharma in Gandhinagar. PTI 





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