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Where Is The Man?
Despite being issued a non-bailable warrant in India and an arrest warrant in London, prime accused in the naval war room leak case, Ravi Shankaran, continues to elude the cbi. The agency, which claimed it had stepped up efforts to nab him in 2006, has so far failed to zero in on his whereabouts. Shankaran, an arms dealer, managed to slip out of the country on November 11, 2005.
Despite his passport being revoked by the Union ministry of external affairs, Shankaran has managed to stay one step ahead of the cbi. Now, senior cbi officials suggest that 44-year-old Shankaran, nephew of the wife of former navy chief Adml Arun Prakash, could have slipped out of Britain after a London court issued an arrest warrant in 2006.
cbi officials suspect that Shankaran could be travelling on a fake passport under an assumed identity to escape detection by Interpol, which has issued a red corner notice on the cbi's request. The latter claims it has received a "few reports" that Shankaran has been sighted in Sweden, Belgium and France. This has prompted the agency to issue fresh requests to these countries through Interpol.
While the other accused continue to languish in jail in India, key suspect Shankaran, who received several e-mails from one of the dismissed naval officers working in the operations directorate, has escaped the cbi's net. His arrest, many feel, will provide crucial leads linking the naval war room leak and the Scorpene deal.