The very name rattles. Jai Shankar, the serial rapist- murderer, who escaped from the Bangalore prison, was one who struck terror in the minds of police officers who have dealt with the brutal crimes committed by him.
Even for seasoned police officers, who had grown indifferent to badly-mutilated dead bodies, visiting a crime scene left by him could be a traumatising experience. And there are only a few criminals in the State’s history who have raped six women and killed eight persons within a span of just two months.
“He chooses lonely women in deserted areas as his targets. He would first overpower them and make them immobile by gagging them. He makes sure that he finishes off all his victims and leaves little trace with which police could nab him,” said an inspector, who was a part of the team on the trail of Jai Shankar after his escape from police custody in 2011.
Jai Shankar would have probably succeeded with his tactics and gone undetected if he had not murdered a woman with whom he was having an illicit affair. That was the first time he came on the radar of the police. Since, people in the locality were aware of the illicit relationship, the needle of suspicion for the police immediately pointed at him.
During interrogation, police themselves were shocked at Jai Shankar confessing to a series of rapes and murders committed by him. “He was unlike other criminals who would shy away from confessing their crimes. Even after he was re-arrested in May, 2011 in Karnataka (after his escape from custody in March), he readily confessed to all the crimes committed by him while on the run. When the Karnataka police questioned him for another double murder, he just denied having any role in it,” said the police officer.
In fact, it was through his confession that the police came to know about his rape and murder of police constable M Jayamani in 2009. The Tiruppur police had arrested another person for that murder then. Jayamani was returning after bandobast duty for former deputy chief minister M K Stalin when Jai Shankar offered her a lift on his moped and later raped and murdered her.
The recent escape of Jai Shankar from the prison did not surprise a few police officers who have seen his wits. “Like a seasoned criminal, he knows all the loopholes in our legal system. He would put up an innocent face in front of the judges while being produced in the court. Despite having so
many murder cases against him, he was able to convince a judge and obtained an order that he must not be handcuffed. Exploiting this, he managed to escape while being taken to a court,” said a police officer who had investigated a case against him in Tirupur.