Patna -- The mastermind behind the sensational Jehanabad jailbreak was shifted from Gaya to Patna Wednesday for security reason a day after Gaya jail officials requested police headquarters to shift the Maoist leader to a high security prison.
Ajay Kanu has been shifted to Beur Jail here, the only model jail in the state.
Gaya jail officials had expressed apprehension of a Jehanabad-like attack by Maoists to free Kanu and their inability to provide security for him due to the shortage of police personnel.
Top officials were in a dilemma over where to lodge the arrested Maoist leader. Official sources said that in the distress signal sent to police headquarters, Gaya jail authorities had requested to shift Kanu from the jail and immediately deploy the Special Auxilary Police personnel for security. Even the Gaya district magistrate also asked the jail administration to tackle the issue seriously.
Kanu was arrested by a joint team of the Special Task Force and district police team from a village in Gaya district, about 100 km from here. He had escaped from the Jehanabad Jail Nov 13, 2005 along with dozens of Maoists. Kanu's arrest was a big catch for police as he is not only one of the main strategists of the Maoists, he is an expert in explosives too.
Bihar Police took about 24 hours to formally disclose his arrest as they were apprehensive of an attack by the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist to protest Kanu's arrest.
Security has already been tightened in Jehanabad jails following Kanu's arrest and police have been deployed on Gaya-Patna railway line fearing Maoist attacks.
Kanu, a native of a village under Karpi police station, a Maoist stronghold in Arwal district, is accused in over dozen of criminal cases.
The Maoist leader is considered second in command of the Communist Party of India-Maoist in the state after Arvind.
Police suspect that Kanu was the mastermind of the Jehanabad jailbreak in which 380 prisoners fled but later nearly 300 returned or were re-arrested. Nearly 80 prisoners are still missing from the jail.