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LUCKNOW: As many as 24 wanted criminals were arrested and one gangster killed in 15 police encounters reported from 10 districts of the state in the past 48 hours on Friday evening. The encounters were reported from Muzaffarnagar, Gorakhpur, Bulandshahr, Shamli, Hapur, Meerut, Saharanpur, Baghpat, Kanpur and Lucknow. In all the cases, police recovered firearms including a carbine, factory and countrymade firearms apart from cash, jewellery and cars most of which was robbed by the criminals.
Describing the spate of encounters as the result of a fresh crackdown against listed criminals, director general of police OP Singh said at least 8 of the arrested gangsters carried a cash reward on their head ranging from Rs 15,000 to 50,000. “The idea is to arrest these wanted gangsters and put them behind bars. The police have been directed to use force only in self-defence when there was no other option. The bottomline is that outlaws who are wanted in criminal cases have to be stopped,” Singh told TOI.
In Muzaffarnagar, police achieved a major breakthrough on Friday when the special task force (STF) gunned down Indrapal, a native of Ghaziabad who had 33 criminal cases pending against him.
Two criminals held in Gorakhpur after encounter
The cases against Indrapal included that of a shootout in Haridwar in 2013 in which a policeman was killed and another robbed of his service pistol. Carrying a cash reward of Rs 25,000 on his head, Indrapal opened fire at the STF team in which a sub inspector was injured.
In another encounter reported from Gorakhpur, police arrested two miscreants after an encounter that took place early morning on Friday in Ram Nagar area following an extensive manhunt that was launched after they threatened a village Pradhan for extortion, who in turn informed the police. The two, with gunshot injuries, were admitted to the BRD Medical college where their condition was described as “out of danger”.
The two carried a cash reward of Rs 50,000 each on their heads and had confessed to their involvement in the murder of businessman Dinesh Gupta on Sunday.
In Bulandshaher, police arrested a wanted gangster Mukesh from his residence in Jahangirabad police circle. When the police raided his house during the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, following a specific tip-off that he was present inside, Mukesh opened fire at the police but was over powered. Carrying a cash reward of Rs 20,000 on his head, Mukesh has several criminal cases pending against him, including that of murder, attempted murder, robbery and liquor smuggling.
Two more listed criminals were arrested in Hapur after an ambush with the police in which they were injured. Identified as Aas Mohammed and Ashu, the two suffered severe bullet wounds in the exchange of fire with the police and were admitted to hospital where they were undergoing treatment. While Aas Mohammed is a resident of Gautam Budh Nagar, Ashu hails from Ghaziabad. Police recovered two countrymade pistols from them and a car which they had robbed.
In the encounters reported repprted since Wednesday night, Lucknow police had arrested Naresh Bhati and his associate Kuldeep Jaat and recovered a carbine and a pistol from them after an ambesh in which the former suffered bullet injuires and was undergoing treatment. Similar arrests were made in Kanpur following an exchange of fire on Wednesday. Public Relation Officer (PRO), DG Headquarters ASP Rahul Srivastava confirmed on Friday evening that 15 encounters had taken place in the past 48 hours in which a wanted criminal has been killed and 24 gangsters have been arrested.