A Nepali politician-cum-media baron alleged to be an associate of mafia don Dawood Ibrahim was shot at inside the Kathmandu central jail on Thursday.
Yunus Ansari, who is in prison for involvement in fake Indian currency raket, was shot at by a visitor around 11: 30 am. He sustained bullet injury on his shoulder and is out of danger.
Jail authorities have apprehended the assailant, identified as Jasjeet Singh, a resident of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, and recovered a country made revolver from his possession. Police say he is a contract killer.
Police say that the assailant entered the high security jail on pretext of meeting infamous French criminal Charles Sobhraj lodged in the same jail on charges of murdering an American backpacker.
He attacked Ansari in the visitors’ meeting area inside the prison. Ansari was rushed to a nearby hospital where he has been kept under observation.
According to Indian intelligence agencies, Ansari is one of the main operators of fake Indian currency in Nepal and used to transport the contraband to the southern neighbour through the open border.
“Prima facie it’s a case of security lapse as the accused managed to enter the jail with a country made revolver hidden in his jacket,” Nepal Police spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal told media persons.
The police say that the assailant was residing in Kathmandu in a rented apartment and had been regularly visiting Sobhraj and Ansari in jail for the past three weeks.
An award of NRs 50,000 had been announced for information on two associates of Singh involved in the incident.
Ansari’s father, former minister Salim Miya Ansari, who reached the hospital accused the police of failing to protect his son despite repeated reminders that his life was under threat.
Ansari, executive chairman of National Television, a private news channel, was arrested in January last year in connection with recovery of fake Indian currency worth Rs 2.5 million.
He was arrested after his body guard collected the amount from two Pakistani agents from a Kathmandu hotel. The police later recovered nearly 4 kg of heroin from the Pakistanis.
Police have constituted a high-level committee to probe the incident and investigate likely involvement of jail authorities.
Thursday’s shooting comes 13 months after another media owner Jamim Shah was shot dead in broad daylight in Kathmandu. Shah was also said to have links with Dawood.