Fugitive Tarun Jinaraj, who eluded the police for 15 long years after murdering his wife Sajni in 2003, was finally caught in Bengaluru in 2018.
However, Jinaraj once again gave the police a slip after getting bail from the court on August 4. Though the parole was only for 15 days, the 47-yr-old never came back to the jail.
According to Sabarmati Central Jail (where he was lodged) report sent to the Gujarat High Court, Jinaraj — an undertrial facing charges under IPC 302 (murder) at Sarkhej police station —’was released on interim bail on August 4, 2023, and was orally instructed to return to the jail by 12 noon on August 19, 2023. But the said accused has not turned up as of now. The accused has violated the order of the honourable court (Gujarat high court) and absconded.’
The shocking development has left authorities scrambling to locate Jinaraj. Sources in the Sabarmati jail said the authorities have also sent the report to the registrar of the sessions court in Mirzapur, Jail IG, CID (crime), Ahmedabad SP, Special Operations Group (SOG), the city crime branch and inspectors of Ranip and Sarkhej police stations.
A DSP of the jail wrote the report, urgently requesting other law enforcement agencies to locate Jinaraj. Police had diligently pursued him for almost a decade and a half before finally apprehending him from the Bengaluru office of Oracle, one of the world’s largest enterprise software companies.
At the time of his capture, Jinaraj had meticulously constructed a second life, assuming the identity of his friend Pravin Bhateley, securing a corporate job, marrying a woman named Nisha, and even becoming a parent to two children.
The police concede that Jinaraj was a master of deception, leaving virtually no trace of his connection to Gujarat during his 15-year evasion. “He maintained the facade of being an orphan, meticulously avoiding any links to his past. The only chink in his armour was a seemingly innocuous phone call to his mother from his Bengaluru office landline. This call ultimately led to his arrest,” said a police officer close to the case. Baffled by his arrest, Jinaraj, during his custody, kept asking the officials what had given him away. “It will not be easy to nab him a second time,” added the officer.
Following his arrest, Jinaraj made multiple attempts to secure his release on bail. He approached the sessions court, seeking temporary bail to deal with the financial crisis of his mother, Annamma Chacko, who lives in an old age home in Mirzapur, Ahmedabad.
He had claimed that someone had cheated his mother of Rs 24 lakh, and he wanted to go there and help her. However, the lower court rejected the plea in April after the prosecution opposed it, saying that if released even temporarily, Jinaraj may disappear to evade the trial. He then approached the HC, which also rejected his plea in May.
He approached the HC again, this time, seeking bail to withdraw his provident fund money for which he claimed he had to go to Bengaluru. On July 20, the HC granted him two-week temporary bail from the date of his release from the jail.
Jinaraj was required to inform police about his whereabouts in Karnataka and report to the nearest police station twice a week during his bail period. However, he exploited this opportunity to disappear once again. A local court has issued a non-bailable warrant against him.