Aum Shinrikyo cult never really died
News On Japan via New Straits Times -- Jul 31
WHEN Katuya Takahashi, 54, was arrested at a manga coffee shop in Tokyo in the middle of last month, it marked the end of the 17-year-long search for the last of the three fugitives suspected of crimes by the notorious doomsday cult, Aum Shinrikyo.
He is suspected to be a part of the 1995 deadly sarin gassing in Tokyo subways that killed 13 and injured more than 6,000 people.
Dozens of the cult leaders and followers have been arrested and given sentences in court trials -- with capital punishment finalised for its top leader Shoko Asahara.
The cult had been long buried in oblivion in the minds of most Japanese, but the investigation continued in search of the three fugitives who remained elusive, until recently.
On the last day of 2011, Makoto Hirata, 46, voluntarily surrendered at a police station in downtown Tokyo, which was a big surprise. And early in June this year, Naoko Kikuchi, the second fugitive, was caught in a Tokyo suburb, followed by the recent arrest of Takahashi.
All three looked quite different from their old photographs in the "wanted" posters shown in public places all these years, indicating the length of the period they had hid themselves.
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