Friday, 11 March 2011

Will these questions get answered on the assasination attempt?

For many, the biggest question raised by Thursday´s attempt on the life of detained media baron Younus Ansari is how the English-made revolver that was used to shoot him was sneaked into the high-security facility. Did Jasjeet Singh, 42, a contract killer based in Lucknow, India, walk in with the gun tucked into his groin as claimed by police at a press conference? Or was it already inside the facility waiting for Singh? There are more equally baffling questions.
Was it mere coincidence that Younus Ansari was at the visitors lounge talking to his relatives when the shooter, who met Charles Sobhraj daily in the past weeks, arrived with the gun? That Ansari was there is explainable. But the precise timing of Singh´s visit begs a question.
Yet another puzzling question is why Singh was allowed to visit the prison repeatedly under the pretext of meeting Sobhraj. Did he carry the gun every time he visited Sobhraj and patiently wait for the best opportunity? Or did he carry the gun just on Thursday having prior knowledge that Ansari would be at the visitors lounge at a specified time?

Prison security
Entering the central jail to visit an inmate is not a walk in the park. A visitor has to make it through two security checks before reaching the visitors lounge. Security personnel are posted at the checks from 9 am to 4 pm every day to prevent individuals like Singh from making it through. A visitor is required to leave behind all belongings before entering the facility. And security personnel use metal detectors on the visitors.
On Thursday, Singh made it through both the security checks with the sole intent of killing Ansari. When he reached the visitors lounge at 11:30 am, Ansari was talking to his younger brother and sister-in-law, narrated Madhav Nepal, spokesperson of Metropolitan Police Commissioners´ Office. Singh wasted no time. He took out the revolver, aimed at Ansari and opened fire. Ansari survived the assassination attempt.
“Personnel posted for prison security on Thursday did not detect the gun the shooter was carrying as it was hidden under his groin,” said SSP Nepal, attempting to explain the lapse. "It is not unnatural to not apply a hand-held metal detector over private parts," he added.
Did the security personnel fail to detect the gun during his previous visits as well and is a man allowed to visit an inmate on a daily basis?
According to SSP Nepal, it is not common that a man is allowed to visit a prisoner, that too as notorious as Sobhraj, on a daily basis. “We have learnt that Singh was allowed access into the facility repeatedly. We are unclear so far as to why he was allowed daily access,” he added.
But what about the timing of Singh´s visits? Did he visit Sobhraj on a specified time every day, or were his visits timed randomly? Police, so far, have dealt with these puzzling questions meekly admitting to security lapses and suspending one sub-inspector and two constables for the same. A high-level police team that has been tasked with clearing the dense cloud over the shooting incident has a tall task at hand. Dhat Nepal ko police k bhako...

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