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Dad tracks down son's killer

For six years, Surajit Shandilya pursued the man who had sodomised and beheaded his son Varun.

india Updated: May 18, 2006 08:12 IST

Only a dad could have done this. For six years, Surajit Shandilya pursued the man who had sodomized and beheaded his 10-year-old son, Varun. His tenacity paid off when he tracked down the killer earlier this month.

Shandilya had lost faith in the "system" that had let the killer escape from jail along with four militants on December 12, 2000. So he set up his own intelligence network of friends and acquaintances, cultivated 'sources' through a reward-for-information scheme, circulated the assailant's photo and hopped from one place to another in his pursuit. Finally, a source in Imphal tipped him off about one Ajanta Rai, a look-alike of Anupam Das, the killer.

Rai was an electrician like Das, who on January 22, 2000 invited Varun to his home. Later, Varun's beheaded body was found under Das's bed and medical reports proved he had been sexually assaulted.

Shandilya informed the Imphal police, who arrested Rai alias Das on May 14.

According to the police, Das had made good his escape with the help of the militants who fled with him six years ago.

"Since his escape, I have been using my own method to track him down. And now that he is back behind bars, I can rest in peace," the bereaved father said.