Patna: A man who had murdered a villager and chopped his body into pieces hid in Ayodhya for 37 years, playing the role of a head monk of a monastery.
He had been arrested in 1981 and sentenced to life imprisonment for chopping a villager to death with an axe over a petty land dispute.
Police said the murderer identified as Suresh Singh had killed Sugan Singh, a resident of Neuri village under Bihta block in Patna district.
The Patna High Court awarded him life imprisonment but he managed to escape and settled in Ayodhya. He ended all contact with his family in Patna to ensure he remained elusive.
The High Court recently reprimanded the police administration for failing to arrest the convict who had been absconding for years.
Acting on a lead, a team of Patna police reached Ayodhya. Police learnt the murderer was the head priest of a Hindu monastery after removing its chief with the help of his gang. They arrested the absconding criminal.
Reports said even the police team were puzzled by the appearance of the murderer who like a typical monk – he had grown his hair and beard long and was wearing sandalwood on his face to hide his identity.
“We faced a lot of trouble in arresting the criminal who had changed his appearance to become like a typical priest,” said police official Ranjeet Singh, who was part of the police team that arrested the criminal.