LucknowNearly eight years after his escape from police custody, one of the most wanted accused of UP, Sudhakar Pandey, who carried reward of ₹ 50,000 on his head, surrendered before a city court in a dramatic manner on Thursday afternoon – without letting the police and intelligence sleuths know about his move.Pandey was said to staying in Nepal, Malaysia and Thailand while he was on the run after his escape from the police custody when brought on appearance in Lucknow district court on September 28, 2010. WHY THE SURRENDER?The sudden surrender of Sudhakar Pandey before the court has puzzled the police and intelligence agencies who have been searching for him for many years. A senior police official said Pandey’s last location was tracked in Malaysia when he called up two key witnesses of the murder of former LUSU general secretary around three months ago. He said he had asked the two witnesses, Hemant Singh and Vipin to turn hostile.One of the witnesses was associated with dreaded gangster Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi, who was recently shot dead by another gangster Sunil Rathi inside Bagpat jail on July 9, he said. He said the witness had got associated with Bajrangi fearing life threat from Pandey.He was the key accused in the murder of Lucknow University Students’ Union (LUSU) former general secretary Vinod Tripathi near his residence in Nehru Enclave locality of Gomti Nagar on December 11, 2007.His involvement was also suspected in the sensational murder of chief medical officer (CMO) Vinod Kumar Arya, who was shot dead while he was on a morning walk near his Vikas Nagar residence on October 27, 2010. In the same manner, another CMO, BP Singh was shot dead while he was on a morning walk near his house in Vijayant Khand, Gomti Nagar on April 2, 2011. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths, who later investigated the two cases, had not included his name in the charge-sheet filed in the matter.A police official said Pandey’s built and appearance had changed a lot during these years and he took advantage of it to surrender before the court without being identified by anyone. He surrendered before the court following a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him in the Gangster Act imposed by the Gomti Nagar police station in April 2008. The Gomti Nagar police had imposed Gangster Act against Pandey after his arrest in connection with murder of former LUSU general secretary.The police official said cops were not intimated about his surrender application as the NBW was already issued against him. He said Pandey carried reward on his head in connection with an FIR lodged against him at Wazirganj police station when he escaped from the court premises.He said the court has sent Pandey in judicial custody till September 1.The official said the police will now apply for his remand in connection with different criminal cases registered against him.